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    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2012
    And it's not like Google is being coy about how these things will look.

    Nope they're not.

    "...almost any article of clothing looks better on a size zero/hunkily-scupted early-20s model painstakingly posed in good lighting by a professional photographer than it will look on an average human who actually has to wear the thing on public transportation and then to work.
    Which is to say that in the pictures above, the models are not wearing the Google Glass Protoype; the Google Glass Prototype is wearing the models. Please keep it in mind when you’re itchin’ to strap these LaForge Lites onto your noggin."

    This says it better than I have.
  1.  (10594.2)
    Erm...I kinda think they look cool.
    Like a small part of the TRON universe has come to call.

    Aside from my questionable fashion sense, another big question I've been thinking of is: what will the next generation of workers think? The people that are 15-18 now, how do they react?

    I showed the concept video to my 16-year old niece who's constantly gushing over the newest release from Samsung and saying how much she wishes she had a Galaxy Note instead of her plain old Galaxy S that I gave her [//#firstWorldproblems, I know//] and she was floored. She immediately asked me, "When's that coming out?"

    We then went on to have a discussion about what she thought about it. I'm paraphrasing from memory but here's roughly what was said:

    Her: I don't want a new phone anymore, I'll wait for that.
    Me: Why's that?
    Her: Erm, well, I don't know - it just looks like it'll be better, quicker and more connected, you know?
    Me: I think so, yeah, but what about privacy worries - Google might know almost everything about you and -
    Her: I bet there's a way to get around that and, erm, Google sort of knows most of what I do anyway. If they ever got my Facebook, they'd know everything I do so...
    Me: So you don't care?
    Her: Not really, no, but it's not that I don't care if someone else cares...I don't know, I just think that I'd love it.
    Me: Let me show you this.

    [We then watched the ADmented video Robyn, Oldhat, linked to (wait, you should change your name to that Robyn - 'Robyn Oldhat' sounds brilliant, like an archer assassin from a wood that once knew prosper...anyway) ]

    Me: So what if that happened?
    Her: Could it?
    Me: It might...
    Her: Erm...naa, there's gotta be a way to get rid of all that?
    Me: What if there weren't? Would it still be worth it to have all that cool stuff right in front of you without having to mess around with a clunky phone?
    Her: No but one would buy it if it was that bad...toolbars at the bottom with adverts might be alright or a ticker along the bottom - I could ignore that -
    Me: So you wouldn't have it if it was that bad?
    Her: No...but it won't be. There's gotta be a way to get rid of those.

    It tailed off after that.

    I thought this intriguing - not only that she wouldn't believe that it could be that bad and that there wouldn't be a way around it but - especially because she said she wouldn't mind a ticker. Personally, I hate tickers - they annoy the shit out of me - because they constantly distract me in the way that TV does when I've not watched it for months however she '...could ignore that'.

    Another big issue here is: joggers, walkers, exercise peoples.

    I walk twice a day, most days, for about an hour and try to spend as much time on my feet as is possible. I know that if I'd important stuff coming in or needing to go out, these would be friggin perfect for that.
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2012
    if you can't get perscription ones thats a massive amount of people to miss out on
  2.  (10594.4)
    Sure, but when I want to eat long pig ...
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2012
    Interesting thing, that. Most people expect a pretty wide field of customizability for their gadgets, either trough choosing the right gadget, or by tinkering with it after purchase. Strangely, that seems to help us swallow unwanted features like ads, since it makes them feel optional even when they are not meant to be.
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2012
    I will not wear a computer on my face

    While I agree that the initial designs will probably look a bit odd, I can see no reason why the design cannot be advanced to the point where they will look identical to the glasses I wear on the front of my head every day.
    At that point why would I need to bother carrying a phone/camera/laptop etc if all of these functions can be carried out by a device that I know I will never forget to pick up because I'm wearing it.
    As for the "out of focus/talking to yourself" thing, perhaps we shall have to create a new etiquette to go with these new technologies.
    It reminds me of a classic passive aggressive sign I saw in a shop that said "Out of respect for your privacy, we will wait until you have finished your phonecall before serving you."
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2012
    If it comes in a system that can be integrated into any choice of glasses (like my black rimmed reading glasses) I would totally go for it. The UI needs work, especially all the chatting, and the whole "show me the music section" is taking it way too far, but it's very promising. And I agree with Ben's niece on a lot of points.

    We do need new legislation on privacy protection and such to reflect the times we live in, though. Like the whole "right to be forgotten".
  3.  (10594.8)
    I don't think there will be that much of an adjustment to etiquette for using these. Talking to your glasses to send texts or find you directions or set reminders isn't a million miles away from the millions of iPhone users who are currently asking Siri to do all the same shit.

    And if you extended the horn-rim from the glasses frame to the casing for the device, or tortoise shell or antiqued brass or something, and make the other side of the frames the same thickness (for symmetry) I don't see these sending the fashion literate running screaming. I'd actually see an industry making mounts for the things popping up the same way it has for iPhone cases.
  4.  (10594.9)
    While the ad promotes this as being the latest toy for hipsters imagine what it could do for people with dementia, for example.

    Pop-up reminders to take your meds or to keep appointments with your doctor; street directions for people with short-term memory problems; cognitive therapy apps to help people deal with anxiety attacks. Add a lifelogger program for people with memory problems. (I am absolutely terrible with remembering people's names. Imagine this set up to search your Facebook friends every time you look at a face and pop up any matches.)

    Yes, all those things are possible now on a smartphone but think how much easier they could be if it was as simple as puttign on a pair of glasses.

    Then too imagine integrating this with iBrain.
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2012
    That's a really good point, @Kosmo.

    Also, imagine this: Hold your palm up in front of you and it is overlaid with a menu that you can use to perform many of the voice commands. Perhaps you can hold one palm up and use the other hand to pinch and drag identified elements in the world around you to your palm in order to do stuff. I dunno. Sounds a bit weird, but it's a way to bridge that gap of usability and would help it feel a bit more like what we have now (and it seems to me that new things do a lot better if they have a reassuring connection to what people already know)
  5.  (10594.11)
    As good an idea as that is, I figure the vast majority of the processing on these things is going to be cloud based, so it kind of has to be voice driven to reduce the apparent input lag. Everybody is used to 'give voice command->wait a tick->confirm' process from both Google Voice Search Actions in Android, and Siri on iOS. 'Hold up palm -> wait 10-20 seconds for image recognition to recognize it's your hand -> perform gesture -> wait for gesture to be recognized -> confirm' will be overly unwieldy.
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2012
    @Kosmopolit - very good point. All kinds of assistance tricks should begin to appear if these catch on.

    Regarding facial recognition plugged into facebook - I haven't been paying enough attention to that whole thing. Has it improved any in the past 3-4 years? Going by the functionality of google goggles on my phone, I'd guess it's still crap, but that might just be because it's not a priority for the goggles team.

    What it does well is recognize printed pictures, tracking down appearances of the same picture on the web - of course, it does even better if you just load the image file directly. (A functionality many, many ripped off artists were willing to pay respectable sums for in the 00's.) Setting the google glasses up with alerts, or an image search triggered by certain images, or just shapes, colours, light levels and so on, might be interesting.

    I still think the main usefulness of these things is the ability to know where they are and which way they are facing, just like a smartphone. What they add to the whole thing is matching position-orientation to the way your face is actually oriented.

    For example, I loaded my android with a star chart app; being able to pick out the planets and constellations with near - absolute confidence just by pointing it the phone at the sky was surprisingly amazing. It also made us painfully aware of how much of the night sky is invisible in cities due to light pollution. I've shown it to quite a few people now, and none of them had any idea what was what until they had a look on the screen (An old pet whine; people just don't look up at night anymore.) These glasses would improve on that in some ways; rather than standing around pointing your phone at the sky and going ooooo, you would simply bring up the star chart and look up.

    Which brings me to a problem. Namely, then what would you do? How do I show what I'm seeing to the guy standing next to me? People hand their phones around a lot, look over each other's shoulders, point things out to each other. Unless google is including some kind of electronic handshake funcionality - which would of course fall far short of a replacement - there's no way you could just show someone what's on your screen? You could hand your glasses over, but you would never be looking at the same thing at the same time?
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeApr 9th 2012 edited
    Nygard - I think what you'll see is kinect/Fifth Sense style gesture recognition. So you stick your hand up. make a gesture to active the "virtual hand" mode and then your hand can interact with the icons - including passing them to other people wearing Google Glasses.

    I wonder if anyone's trademarked "iGlasses" yet?
  6.  (10594.14)
    I'm not used to hands free making it appear that people are talking to themselves in the middle of the street yet. People waving their hands in front of their face is going to take me even longer XD This really seems like intermediate technology. Call me conservative but voice or gesture control seems to be a bit of a deal breaker. Give me neural control and I'm there (I've already used a crude neural control device that's actually on the market, so we can't be that far off).
    • CommentTimeApr 11th 2012
    You yanks know about Steve Mann, right?

  7.  (10594.16)
    Steve Mann's not the only one.

    There's Brits too.

    Namely, this guy

    There's an awesome photo of Steve Mann out there, somewhere, where he's holding what looks like a keyboard but is in fact an early prototype of a wearable computer - I'd ahve to dig it out from my bachelor's study files but it was at that point that I said to myself, "Yes. I really do love cyperpunk."
  8.  (10594.17)
    I don't wear glasses. I don't want to start just so I can do most of the stuff I can already do with my smart phone.
  9.  (10594.18)
    Thought this was going to be about google developing a chain smoking two headed cat.

    One possible comparison is with the military, particularly heads up displays in jet fighters. Have these raised any particular safety issues which would be comparable with the glasses?

    I also think that it's possible that this will develop into devices that fit onto current glasses, maybe through a coating on the lens?
  10.  (10594.19)
    Oh, actually, looking back at their own announcement site, they're already doing mockups of how you could fit them on prescription glasses. I suppose that answers that.
  11.  (10594.20)
    Free Hands

    Expect 2013 to be the year that the internet sees more hands in photos than any previously recorded year.

    this, of course, from google's official Project Glass page.