On the first quarter of 2012 the gadget world was abuzz with rumors about a revolutionary product being developed by technology giant Google. Eventually news reports confirmed that Google was launching “Google Glass”, an augmented reality goggles.
The glasses are an embodiment of wearable technology, something that was in the realm of science fiction movies even a few years back. The glasses will be launched in the consumer market by the end of 2013. The developer version of the goggles cost $1,500. However it is expected that the final launch price of the version that will hit the consumer market will be a tad lower.
Google Glass will come equipped with several mind boggling features. The basic idea behind the product is to port data from portable gadgets and desktop computers and place it right in front of the eyes of the person donning these glasses. The device basically places data within the field of human vision without obstructing any view by utilizing display technology. This is achieved with the aid of a prism screen. The display comes equipped with a 640 x 360 resolution and is considered to be the equivalent of a 25 inch HD screen. The gadget consists of components like a 5MP camera, touchpad, microphone and battery built into the lightweight goggle frame. The device can last up to 24 hours on a single charge and boast of 16GB of flash memory. Networking features like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are inbuilt into the Google Glass.
The process of overlaying data into the field of human vision brings several benefits like viewing real time translations, checking and replying to messages on the go and speech transcription. It can also provide the functionality of a direction finder if paired with a mobile phone. The inbuilt camera can capture snaps and video recordings on the fly. It doesn’t need a view finder since everything is clicked from a first person perspective. The touchpad and microphone placed on one arm of the frame allows control and processing of the captured data. The device can also generate sound with the help of bone induction technology that utilizes skull vibrations instead of headphones to produce audio. The versatility of the goggles can be further extended by installing apps that allow it to perform a wide range of activities like video conferencing, email dictation and obtaining flight details at airports.
The gadget will be available in five different colors – sky, cotton, shale, tangerine and charcoal. Google will also offer the gadget in the form of prescription lenses to enable people donning correctional glasses to wear it without any hassles.
Even though Google Glass is expected to revolutionize the digital world and bring plenty of benefits to its users, it does raise quite a few ethical dilemmas. Concerns have been raised that its abilities to click photographs and record conversations on the fly can violate the privacy of many people.