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Google Displays GUI Technology

Google Heads Up Display Coming By the End of the Year 177

kodiaktau writes "Google is working to deliver a heads-up display allowing users access to email, maps and other tools through a wearable interface. According to the NY Times' sources, the device will be available later this year, and sell for prices comparable to smartphones. 'The people familiar with the Google glasses said they would be Android-based, and will include a small screen that will sit a few inches from someone’s eye. They will also have a 3G or 4G data connection and a number of sensors including motion and GPS. ... The glasses will have a low-resolution built-in camera that will be able to monitor the world in real time and overlay information about locations, surrounding buildings and friends who might be nearby, according to the Google employees. The glasses are not designed to be worn constantly — although Google expects some of the nerdiest users will wear them a lot — but will be more like smartphones, used when needed.'"
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Google Heads Up Display Coming By the End of the Year

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  • Googloid (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jmanamj ( 1077749 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @06:23AM (#39122755)

    I will be plugged into the Google at all times. I will fear no evil for Google will be with me, and will guide me to safety. The Google provides divine inspiration, and is the light of the world. The Google protects. You should be plugged in to the Google. Otherwise you are a lesser bing. All hail the Google.

    • Re:Googloid (Score:5, Funny)

      by game kid ( 805301 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @06:27AM (#39122771) Homepage

      Otherwise you are a lesser bing.

      I see what you did there.

    • by Ihmhi ( 1206036 )

      The Google protects.

      As long as the enemies of The Google still draw breath, there can be no peace.

    • THis deserves a proper inspirational marching song:

      All tilt their head - scroll,
      All tilt their head - click.
      We will follow our Big leader until death,
      Removing those who oppose us from our circles. ...and possible implications []

    • Oh yeah? Hail to the king, baby! Shop smart, shop S-mart!


    • Can't fool me, I've given up believing in Google for Lent.
    • No thanks, Google (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @10:42AM (#39124455) Homepage Journal

      I wore glasses (thick ones) for 45 years until medical technology came to my rescue. I'm not going back. Sunglasses, maybe, but a headsup display at all times with your email and such?

      You know, there are some things that should not be invented and this is one of them. You think people talking on their phones while driving are dangerous, wait until they're wearing these glasses! It will be bad enough on the sidewalk with idiots paying attention to the HUD and not where they're going, running into you... better than driving with them, though.

      What's worse It's a completely unnecessary device. Doesn't your phone beep when you get a message?

      However, this will probably go over big with the hipsters. Kind of like the Segway was so popular. It does have one good feature -- nopbody wearing these will EVER get laid, so their genes will no longer pollute the pool. And the ones who wear them driving (and they will, you know they will) may kill themselves, but unfortunately take an innocent or two with them.

      • by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <barbara.hudson@[ ... m ['bar' in gap]> on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @11:47AM (#39125239) Journal
        It's inevitable, as I predicted here last August []. But don't worry, you won't have to look nerdy.

        Pretty much every electronic device can interact with your video SPEKZ, which can be anything from a pair of plain-jane NokiaSofts to the latest cool shades from Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL). Cars, streetlight surveillance cams, water meters, televisions, and even your clock radio are all talking to each other -- and your SPEKZ are piggybacking on their data streams. There's not a single laptop, desktop, smartphone or tablet computer in sight.

        It's an amazingly seamless experience. The tiny twin cams on your SPEKZ let you share what you see with your friends and stream a copy to your home server. Your watch and charm bracelet contain sensors to detect your wrist movements and the muscles and tendons of your fingers flexing, all descended from Nintendo WiiMote technology.

        As for driving with the future versions, it will be safer, since:they will give the driver full night vision, as well as the ability to display an enhanced view of traffic despite road glare, sun in the eyes, torrential rain, etc. It would be nice to see that deer well before it goes through your windshield.

        • Good article.

          Ubiquitous, easy to access computing. We keep heading that direction. Glasses and convenient input devices like bracelets (I hadn't thought of that, very clever) will be a fantastic summit. Eventually, the interface will evolve beyond even glasses into implants. 50 years til that?

          It's a safer, more polite world. The latest Amber Alert system allows people to opt in to automatically search the last few minutes of their SPEKZ data stream against a possible match. Road rage is also much less f

          • Thanks. Glad you liked it.

            Privacy is going to be a problem, and I also agree that, just as people have managed to evolve privacy behaviours in public (remember your mom telling you "It's not polite to stare!") we'll evolve the same sort of coping mechanisms.

            After all, people have had binoculars and telescopes for decades, and yet someone spying on their neighbor getting undressed is still a peeper who can be arrested if caught ...

            These days we can pick our noses in our cars and expect de facto privac

        • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

          Very good point, I hadn't thought of that.

      • Frankly, sir, you seem a Luddite if the only application you can see for an HUD with a camera is "checking your messages".

        Just integrating it with something like word lens [] coupled with a navigation system would make it a fantastic device for traveling.

        • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

          I shudder to think of people wearing them while driving. On foot? Well that could be useful for getting around a strange city.

    • by Jake73 ( 306340 )

      You may be surprised. With the advancements and push they're making on the self-driving car, they're making quite a case to get the captive in-car audience for billions of hours per day. Add HUDs and in-car popups and adverts and you have a whole lot of new advertising revenue.

      Top it off with a whole lot of patents because, as far as I know, they're the only ones working on the self-driving car with such ferocity. They'll be the only channel available.

    • by inKubus ( 199753 )

      And they shall be called, Googoyles.

  • Perspective (Score:5, Insightful)

    by StripedCow ( 776465 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @06:24AM (#39122757)

    So now google is able to literally look through our eyes... great.

    • Re:Perspective (Score:5, Interesting)

      by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @07:45AM (#39123055) Journal
      My thoughts exactly. I got exited at the prospect of practical AR glasses finally arriving on the market ("practical" meaning more or less affordable, and well designed so that you can actually wear them in public), but got disappointed when reading that it is Google releasing them. Remember that they will not just be looking, but analysing and interpreting as well.

      Give them a few years to develop this further and combine it with their other data (face recognition for instance), and you get something like the following sitting in a Google server somewhere.
      SUBJECT: John Doe (Google ID 1312.11.552.874.5)
      EVENT: Observation of known person
      OBJECT: Jane Doe (Google ID 7823.14.461.551.6)
      Identified by tagged photo, 78 hits, average match 87%, confidence after cross-correlation 99.12%
      DURATION: 14 seconds total, eye motion analysis breaks down as follows:
      - face: 2 seconds
      - chest: 5 seconds
      - posterior: 4 seconds
      - legs: 3 seconds
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        So root it

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          You are assuming the device has enough horsepower locally to be useful, as opposed to doing the vast majority of the work on servers and just displaying the results.

          You could certainly do some stuff locally, maybe have heading and speed information, how much is left in your google wallet etc, but the vast majority of the work will have to be done on the server if only because of storage space.

          For example, asking for directions to the nearest ATM, there is no way to store a list of Points of Interest for
          • For example, asking for directions to the nearest ATM, there is no way to store a list of Points of Interest for the entire world, I doubt you could even store all the points of interest for a large city.

            What kind of information are you expecting to store? I'd think even if you stored the coordinates of every ATM, shop, trashcan, etc, you'd have a few hundred MB at most. Detailed satellite imagery for a city would only be a few GB too.

      • Sure, your concern is very real, but let's try our hand at sidestepping a marketing trap.

        One of the most profound concepts of marketing is to try to convince people that "X Corp's Subset is the only desirable Subset of the overall Set of Products/Services."

        So right now we're unnerved at both Google and Apple and maybe even Microsoft if they decide to issue one of these glasses. But it's the Set of AR glasses that I absolutely believe is (part of) the future of computing. So I think I'd trust a company like

        • Samsung uses foxconn manufacturing. Is that bad enough?

          • What do you propose they use instead?

          • Sure, I'm no fan of Foxconn, but let's "separate out evils". The question at hand is a set of glasses without "Whitelisted Spyware" from the vendor, or Lock-In tricks, etc.

            Then you can find TWO equally good glasses like that, then you can go looking at the moral side. But we need the category to exist first.

        • Well, I can't say anything specific about Samsung off of the top of my head, but here's my general rule for determining if an organization is likely to engage in "evil" practices:

          Are they "for profit"? Then the likelihood of them engaging in some evil practice is around 100%. Otherwise, probably slightly lower.

          That may sound cynical and as if I am averse to capitalism, but by and large it's more that at least in the US corporations are required to maximize shareholder benefit, and often times the steps nece

          • Nice reply. Here's some notes.

            The fact that can't peel off anything nasty about Samsung off the top of your head either (contrast with Sony!) supports my first point - if all corps are "evil", some are "more evil than others" to borrow Animal Farm. Here it's about navigating precise brands of evil so that the user escapes relatively intact.

            Meanwhile, if you want your own metrics, "install some clean software" such as something the FOSS crew would come up with. No need to rely on the "Evil" providers

      • by Tharsman ( 1364603 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @12:02PM (#39125483)

        SUBJECT: John Doe (Google ID 1312.11.552.874.5)
        SUBJECT AGE: 24
        EVENT: Observation of known person
        OBJECT: Jael Bate (Google ID 7823.14.461.551.6)
        Identified by tagged photo, 1,264,243,452 hits, average match 87%, confidence after cross-correlation 99.12%
        OBJECT AGE: 17 and 11 months
        DURATION: 2 minutes and 9 seconds total, eye motion analysis breaks down as follows:
        - face: 2 seconds
        - posterior: 4 seconds
        - legs: 3 seconds
        - chest: 2 minutes


    • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @08:26AM (#39123231)

      So now google is able to literally look through our eyes... great.

      Listen, troll - stop the mindless Google bashing. Google Interceptors aren't scheduled for beta release until Q2 2016.

  • by pseudofrog ( 570061 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @06:25AM (#39122761)
    And six months after Google releases it, Apple will invent it.
    • by Sqr(twg) ( 2126054 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @08:47AM (#39123335)

      And everyone will buy from Apple, because "wearing iGlasses" sounds so much more plesant than "wearing a Galaxy HUD".

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        And everyone will buy from Apple, because "wearing iGlasses" sounds so much more plesant than "wearing a Galaxy HUD".

        Apple iGlass users will be happy with their purchase, willing to pay a premium for simpler interfaces, unified experience, and first-rate hardware.

        Google Android HUD users will be happy with their purchase, opting for complex interaction, platform openness, and a variety of hardware.

        The telling difference is that Android users will sneer at Apple users for being fashion slaves and clueless n0

      • Google's glasses will be available at gas station stores for 5 bucks each. They will be as appealing as the current stock of styles. They will be owned by 60% of the market.

        Apple's iShades will be available at Sunglass Hut and put Oakley and Ray Ban out of business. They will be owned by 20% of the market.

        The rest of the market will stick to dumbshades.

  • by Cornwallis ( 1188489 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @06:25AM (#39122763)

    but I imagine they will be lining up to take the Google-glasses-induced automobile accident cases.

  • They will also have a 3G or 4G data connection and a number of sensors including [...] GPS.

    Why wouldn't this just interface with the users smartphone to access data and GPS?

    • Because it replaces a smartphone... Why add unnecessary 48 types of networking?

      Cell data IS the Internet now!!!

      • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

        Because most smart people have a phone with this magical thing called Bluetooth. and a BT connection to the headset would be cheaper and allow it to work as an augmented display with the phone.

        I can tell you that there are times I would want my phone in my hands, like when I want to show someone a photo, or a youtube video of a android fanboi getting beat up by a roving gang of iphone gang members.

        • by txoof ( 553270 )
          I wonder what kind of battery life one could expect from such a high bandwidth BT connection. Also, I wonder what the battery pack for these things is going to look like. I hope it's as dorky as a head lamp.
          • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

            I can tell you. as I have a 1st gen device. the LooxCie BT headset camera. You get about 4 hours of run time on with full video streaming going. if it's smaller packets of data, a lot longer.

            and that is with the tiny battery that is in the LooxCie to make it not a humongous thing. This eyepiece will be at least 12X larger and hang out in front. obstructing your vision on one eye.

        • I'll reply to you.

          Maybe if the Big Corps (Google and Apple) produce these types of glasses, hopefully in Sunglass Factor, then we can nudge the fashion sense along away from "Faces". I'm quite happy to have the phone in my pocket doing the computing - I just want the glasses to replace the monitor. And yes, if everyone is wearing them, they're "always on", You can go to a coffee shop and get your beverage, send an email/social post or three, without even changing your expression.

          Here's to the Matrix Look!

          • You can go to a coffee shop and get your beverage, send an email/social post or three, without even changing your expression.

            You'll still need to write the message, which means one of the following:

            ~A keyboard, which you'll either look at (defeating the point of the glasses, since you might as well have a phone) or keep in your pocket and use blind.

            ~Voice recognition

            ~Gaze direction or blink sensing.

            So, that would mean you look like you're either wanking through your pockets, talking to yourself, blinking madly or making furtive glances everywhere (or all of the above...)

            The Future is Here!

            • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

              Chording keyboards work great.

              Some of us have had this technology for well over a decade. MIT Steve Mann(Now Prof at U of Toronto) and Thad Starner invented wearable computing and they have been using this tech for10+ years already. Many of their grad students as well as interested techies also have.

              I had a 386 based belt PC, HUD and Handeykey chording keyboard back in 1997 I had a 5 hour run time using pc104 low power useage computer boards and a Nicad pack that was actually a bandolier of batteries des

            • I'm happy to even just take out a normal keyboard and "type into thin air".

              Anything to get the Science Fiction Future to arrive here now!

              • We've been hearing about flexible computing for some time now, so I wonder if there's some sort of wide bracelet that could incorporate a miniature or chording keyboard and a BT transceiver. Hopefully something a little more elegant than what Lando had...
              • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) *

                But the science fiction future IS here! It's the 21st century. We have ovens that cook with radio waves, doors that open and close by themselves, Star Trek communicators, Star Trek padds, hospital readouts that make McCoy's sick bay look primitive, cybernetic implants, devices that can record TV shows, computers on our desk and even more, small enough to carry around, the internet, talking toys, singing greeting cards, drone aircraft that fly themselves, "smart bombs" that never miss their targets, lasers,

            • Word recognition from thoughts. There's already a proof of concept on patients with locked-in syndrome.

  • by Rhaban ( 987410 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @06:32AM (#39122787)
    • You jest but imagine the day that we get good brain-machine interfaces (cue the jokes about fingers and keyboards). You don't think people will start linking their minds in various ways? Just imagine sex or drug use while linked in such a fashion (or for the more boring types, imagine working on a project with ha bunch of other developers, all linked directly to each other, no more boring meetings, you'll know instantly that Joe needs that database dump and what changes Steve want made to the invoice module

  • Can't wait to see people on the street wearing and using this, it will be too funny seeing them making gestures and talking to their goggles.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Amusing? Like how cell phones were amusing when they first hit the streets and we saw people talking into a phone while walking down the block, or even funnier, when dorks started wearing the ear pieces and looked like crazy people talking into thin air?

      I almost shit myself the first time I saw a teenager talking on a cell while riding a bike. Now it's common.

      Yeah, the unusual and novel, that sure is funny.

      • To be fair, it's still ridiculous looking to see people talking with a Bluetooth earpiece. I don't see them very often, though. Maybe twice per week.

  • so now you can virtually walk round other peoples houses.
    I need never leave the comfort of my panic room

  • by rbrightwell ( 932570 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @06:53AM (#39122867)
    I guess cell phones just weren't radiating close enough to our heads.
    • by Matheus ( 586080 )

      On a related, less funny, note: Why are they primarily designing for a fully integrated product? I would envision 2 tracks to this: 1) A bluetooth HUD that uses the brain/connectivity/etc of your existing smart phone and 2) the integrated device they are talking about here.

      Biggest issue for me is price. I wouldn't like the form factor enough to replace my phone with it BUT I would appreciate having the HUD capabilities occasionally. $250-$600 is just a bit too high for my tastes for an accessory.

      SO have

  • by Lazy Jones ( 8403 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @06:56AM (#39122879) Homepage Journal
    ... connected to my smartphone. Perhaps even one without maximum privacy impact. Existing designs: blog []
  • I can chat to friends on IRC and watch TV while at work!
  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @07:29AM (#39122981) Homepage

    I don't see where they turn completely black when they sense danger.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @07:30AM (#39122989)

  • Interesting (Score:4, Insightful)

    by lucian1900 ( 1698922 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @07:41AM (#39123041)

    I've often wished for a HUD to allow me to read while walking around.

    But why would this be an Android device of its own, rather than just an input/output device for my existing Android phone?

  • Lenses (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Bensam123 ( 1340765 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @08:10AM (#39123153)
    I'm actually quite interested in when these will be available as normal prescription glasses lenses. I think this is a lot of geeks wet dream. Heck you could even possibly replace the lenses themselves with a modified display that uses a camera and alters the image to your prescription. Given the imaging resolution would have to be high enough and it would have to have a fast enough response time. This is like the holy grail of all technology beyond being directly connected to your computer via your brain.

    Honestly, just using a modified pair of prescription lenses would work... for now.
    • Heck you could even possibly replace the lenses themselves with a modified display that uses a camera and alters the image to your prescription.

      Nope, sorry, optics don't work like that. At least not with the kinds of displays we have now (I suppose we might eventually have some sort of light-field display, to be used with a light field camera [], that could recreate all of the incoming rays of light, rather than one or several flat images).

      However an uncorrected conventional display may work fine for nearsigh

    • by Sloppy ( 14984 )

      Heck you could even possibly replace the lenses themselves with a modified display that uses a camera and alters the image to your prescription.

      "Mapper's traffic query suggests we turn left here; I don't care if you think it's faster to go straight. Oncoming car is going only 35.4 KPH and OBD-VIII says we easily have the power, so I'm going to tur-- TAKE THE WHEEL, QUICK! Everything is dark! Dude, this is why I said don't plug your music player into my cigarette lighter. I need that to keep my HUD charg

  • This should make texting & driving a lot more safer ... just add a full-size keyboard to the steering wheel, and all's good!

  • by e.coli ( 131048 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @09:01AM (#39123437)

    "The glasses are not designed to be worn constantly — although Google expects some of the nerdiest users will wear them a lot — but will be more like smartphones, used when needed.'"

    Great, now there will be idiots driving AND wearing these. And at restaurants, theaters, and everywhere else cell phone users abusers currently annoy people.

    Still, I would love to have one, or two.

  • by Deorus ( 811828 ) on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @09:37AM (#39123721)

    How many people wanna bet that they'll have ZERO accessibility utility and require people with near perfect sight to use? This is the ONE place where Google could actually beat Apple at something related to human interfaces (Apple is in a league of their own when it comes to accessibility right now), and I bet they won't even give it any thought, which is common of them.

    Let us hope that someone out there actually reads this and thinks: Hey we could actually use this to help people see while at the same augmenting the abilities of people who already have perfect sight!

    I am 95.2% disabled thanks to a congenital open angle glaucoma, and my iPhone 4S' 8MP camera as well as iOS' accessibility options have exceeded all my expectations to the point where now anything that's not Apple feels clunky and obsolete to me. My cell phone can literally see better than me, especially in the distance, and Apple makes that kind of use even more convenient with subtle changes to the way apps work such as by increasing the zoom cap in the Pictures app when accessibility Zoom is enabled, even if it's not active, because they actually KNOW that SOME people have a use case for this kind of thing, and yet this has absolutely no impact in the way normal people use their iPhones, most are completely oblivious to these details.

  • what M.T. Anderson envisioned in Feed [].
  • by michaelmalak ( 91262 ) <> on Wednesday February 22, 2012 @09:54AM (#39123865) Homepage

    "The navigation system currently used is a head tilting to scroll and click," Mr. Weintraub wrote this month. "We are told it is very quick to learn and once the user is adept at navigation, it becomes second nature and almost indistinguishable to outside users."

    Like this []?

  • WHY was my first reaction that of total fear, being fed subliminal images by our data overlord?
    That surprised me.

    I immediately imagined after reading the title a wearable glasses type display which is displaying information in cyberpunk fashion and feeding subliminal images for brainwashing. Huh.

  • Well it has been asked for many times before but this time, Slashdot will really have to rethink their Google and Microsoft icons
  • what Kopen is doing with Motorola: Golden-i []

  • Goggles from Google sounds nice. But all these displays strapped to the head, that projects an collimated image into the eye (the display will appear to float at infinity or at some distance from the eye) have a problem. They can induce motion sickness and head aches. The human brain is not used to part of the world to move with the head while other parts of the world stay fixed. We perceive in 3D with both stereoscopic vision and some amount of parallax. Our inner ear's idea of horizon and gravity should b
    • by Daetrin ( 576516 )
      Really? I can see the frames for my current glasses pretty much all the time and that doesn't seem to bother me. Even if i focus on the frames while moving my head around i don't have any problem. Of course 3D movies and the 3DS don't bother me at all either. (I don't think the technology is what it's hyped up to be, but i see the 3D effect just fine and it causes neither nausea or headaches for me.) Maybe i just have a cast iron inner ear?

      Of course that can't be completely true, i used to get motion sick
      • From Wiki: []

        Cause The most common hypothesis for the cause of motion sickness is that it functions as a defense mechanism against neurotoxins.[7] The area postrema in the brain is responsible for inducing vomiting when poisons are detected, and for resolving conflicts between vision and balance. When feeling motion but not seeing it (for example, in a ship with no windows), the inner ear transmits to the brain that it senses motion, but the eyes tell the brain that everything is still. As a result of the discordance, the brain will come to the conclusion that one of them is hallucinating and further conclude that the hallucination is due to poison ingestion. The brain responds by inducing vomiting, to clear the supposed toxin.

        How a brain gets rewired to compensate for eye-glass frames moving with the head while the world does not is something beyond my understanding. Fighter pilots use HUD that projects some info at infinity that moves with aircraft reference frame along with canopy and instruments, while the horizon is independent. I am sure some humans are better at not getting motion sickness and others are worse. So it is not a given that google goggles would induce motion sickness. But it could. Especially for p

  • We are one step closer to Neal Stephenson's vision of a gargoyle in Snow Crash. Interesting.
  • Wasn't there a commercial from IBM in the mid '90s showing a guy jumping up and down in a courtyard full of birds yelling "buy, buy" and then talking on the phone to someone all using a HUD system? I don't recall if that was for IBM's voice control system or OS/2 but it sounds like we're finally there at a price many can now afford.

    I think the big thing which held up the hacker community from doing this years ago was the lack of an inexpensive tiny LCDs with decent resolution.

    BTW, the speech engine IBM put
  • The spread of GPS has caused many a driver to follow directions all-too-explicitly (through some strange, and often incompatible terrain). With Google Glasses, will people now follow Google Maps trails off cliffs?

"Everyone's head is a cheap movie show." -- Jeff G. Bone