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February 20, 2013 7:00 AM   Subscribe

Google shows off Glass, their "augmented reality head-mounted display" with a video demonstrating several of its capabilities. And now, you can get one too, if you win their contest describing what you'd do with it. You'll also need $1500 and to pick it up in person in New York or California.
posted by grouse (174 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
what you'd do with it

Why does the old "X-ray goggles" scam immediately come to mind?
posted by Skeptic at 7:05 AM on February 20, 2013


what you'd do with it

Use them while 'driving' a Google autonomous car?
posted by carter at 7:07 AM on February 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


According to the promo videos, minorities have much better things to do with $1,500.
posted by Brocktoon at 7:07 AM on February 20, 2013 [14 favorites]


Good god who wears glasses on the Cyclone?
posted by griphus at 7:09 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


What if you already wear glasses?
posted by jquinby at 7:11 AM on February 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


IIRC Google Glass is supposed to be some kind of Augmented Reality Device and yet this appears to be ... a wearable camera phone?
posted by Avenger at 7:12 AM on February 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


According to the promo video, the capabilities of Google Glass are a totally blank page. The site is one big blank error. I had to look at the source code to find the YouTube link.

This does not inspire confidence.
posted by caution live frogs at 7:15 AM on February 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


"No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame."
posted by bonehead at 7:16 AM on February 20, 2013 [19 favorites]


Yeah, I thought the glasses were supposed to be able to project or overlay images atop your field of vision, not project a little screen above and to the right of you. Because I could probably just rig up some head gear for my iphone to do that.
posted by nushustu at 7:18 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


OBEY
MARRY AND REPRODUCE
NO INDEPENDENT THOUGHT
CONSUME
WATCH TV
THIS IS YOUR GOD
posted by Foci for Analysis at 7:19 AM on February 20, 2013 [48 favorites]


Google's promo video indicates that these will be indispensable for high adrenaline activities like sky-diving and roller-coasters. I'm guessing though that I'll mostly experience them through people bumping into me at crosswalks and douchebags talking to themselves at coffee shops.
posted by rh at 7:19 AM on February 20, 2013 [28 favorites]


#ifihadglass #chatroulette
posted by fistynuts at 7:19 AM on February 20, 2013


If I had Glass, I'd probably mail it to Will.I.Am, because he's the only person who could possibly get away with wearing such a doofy looking piece of futurecrap.

Besides, the thought of a rectangular shard of glass half an inch from my eye does not exactly fill me with the Yay-I-won-a-bill-for-$1500s.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:19 AM on February 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Don't get me wrong, I'm amped about wearable computing. My understanding is that Apple is maybe working on some combination eyeglasses/wristwatch combo that's supposed to replace the iphone. I think that's keen. I just didn't realize that Google Glass just projected that tiny little screen.
posted by nushustu at 7:19 AM on February 20, 2013


So if I win they cost me $1,500 and I have to visit New York or California? How much and where if I lose?
posted by cjorgensen at 7:21 AM on February 20, 2013 [14 favorites]


What a weird contest. I suspect entrants will be the "new media" type of bullshitters who angle for that type of exposure--akin to actors who try to break into showbusiness via reality TV.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:23 AM on February 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


how is the willitblend teams application going to read?
posted by fistynuts at 7:23 AM on February 20, 2013 [6 favorites]


> How much and where if I lose?

$20, same as in town?
posted by Burhanistan at 7:23 AM on February 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


I would name it George Glass and it would be my fake boyfriend.

Which I would need after explaining to my partner that I spent $1500 after winning a contest.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:25 AM on February 20, 2013 [7 favorites]


If I had glass, I would brag about it and pick up chicks.
posted by pwally at 7:25 AM on February 20, 2013


OBEY
MARRY AND REPRODUCE
NO INDEPENDENT THOUGHT
CONSUME
WATCH TV
THIS IS YOUR GOD


Forget about the contest, Google just has to get Rowdy Roddy Piper as their spokesman. And by "spokesman", I mean having him personally pick fights with people in alleyways to get them to wear the glasses...
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:25 AM on February 20, 2013 [35 favorites]


I assume the contest is to try to avoid them getting snapped up by resellers.

They really should have pickups other than East Coast and West Coast though.
posted by smackfu at 7:25 AM on February 20, 2013


I too am running a contest where the winners pay me $1,500. Address to enter is in my profile.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:26 AM on February 20, 2013 [9 favorites]


Do the voice prompts seem oddly agressive to anyone else?

"Okay glass, you son of a bitch, let's take a picture, yeah? Nice and quick, see?"
posted by Think_Long at 7:27 AM on February 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


If I had Glass, I would use it to LOCATE, IDENTIFY AND TERMINATE SARAH CONNOR.
posted by dickasso at 7:27 AM on February 20, 2013 [25 favorites]


doofy looking piece of futurecrap.

A friend of mine brought a Glass prototype to a Christmas party in December. One guy was pretty excited about it, but the general consensus was that they look ridiculous and don't (yet) do anything useful.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:27 AM on February 20, 2013


I assume the contest is to try to avoid them getting snapped up by resellers.

I assumed the 'contest' is intended to generate as much Twitter buzz as possible and to generate media friendly photo-ops of hundreds of eager customers queuing up outside a Google location ready to buy the product on release day.
posted by rh at 7:29 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


A: You're like school on Saturday. No Glass.
B: Don't you mean class?
A: You said it!
posted by hanoixan at 7:30 AM on February 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


These glasses would go perfectly with a large, bushy neckbeard.
posted by killdevil at 7:30 AM on February 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


I would name mine Ira Glass.

Act one: The glass is half-full, in which our intrepid hero uses his "augmented reality head-mounted display" to make porn
Act two: Through the looking glass, in which the hero's head display accidentally broadcasts him watching porn
Act three: People who live in glass houses, in which our hero something something porn.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 7:31 AM on February 20, 2013 [54 favorites]


If I won the right to pay $1500 for these glasses, I would go to the big news conference unveiling and be happy to take questions at a press conference. Halfway through the third question, I would stop, raise my hands and call out, "What's that, Ben? Yes! You are right! I must trust in the Force!"

I would then pull off the glasses, throw them to the ground, and stomp on them.

A plant in the audience would stand up and don a Darth Vader mask. "The Force is strong in this one!" she would yell.

"Damn right," I'd shout, ripping open my shirt to reveal a Balotelli-style t-shirt reading 'King of the Nerds' on the front and trollface.jpg on the back. "See you later, shitlords!" I'd scream as I ran through the crowd, gathering up my compatriot before jumping on the Game of Thrones Iron Throne rickshaw they had at the last Comic Con. Pulled to freedom by a team of actors dressed as genderswapped Doctors Who, I would wave goodbye to my subjects.

The door would shut behind me revealing Tron Guy with a tuba.

He would play the Whammy sound.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:31 AM on February 20, 2013 [56 favorites]


The Glass piece isn't interchangeable from right eye to left?
posted by Burhanistan at 7:31 AM on February 20, 2013


There is no compelling use-case for this device at this time other than "be seen wearing it".
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:36 AM on February 20, 2013


I worked on an earlier version of this video, looking for various authors and artists talking about specific locations--Monmartre, Rome, etc., and got the idea it was more like a self-guided tour through history. Oh well, the check cashed.
posted by Ideefixe at 7:36 AM on February 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


I was really looking forward to this product but that video was very crap.

It was exactly like something Nokia would dream up, mainly just a small voice-controlled video camera.

I don't think a single thing that happened was not an empty cliche. And yet Google's apparently got all these brainy guys - none of them in the ad department it would appear.

That's Google over like Apple too. Now they just tyrannise us with their cash stockpiles. Yay.
posted by colie at 7:37 AM on February 20, 2013


LITTLEFACE ALL THE PEOPLE

Or, I don't know, maybe write a program that looks at pies and guesses what's inside?
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:39 AM on February 20, 2013


This is one piece of tech I am going to probably not adopt because it has the potential to project ads straight into my eyeballs.
posted by hellojed at 7:39 AM on February 20, 2013


They should get Spider Jerusalem to advertise them.
posted by dng at 7:40 AM on February 20, 2013 [7 favorites]


Yeah, I thought the glasses were supposed to be able to project or overlay images atop your field of vision, not project a little screen above and to the right of you. Because I could probably just rig up some head gear for my iphone to do that.

I'm not surprised. Overlaying images on top of a changing field of view in such a way that they line up correctly is a very challenging technical problem. Sensors that are accurate, fast, and cheap enough to do that in a consumer product do not exist. Any lag or jitter in sensing where the user is looking will lead to a very unpleasant, nausea inducing experience.
posted by atrazine at 7:40 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Walking around talking into a Bluetooth earpiece is still seen as kind of a douchey activity. So long as that's the case, I doubt Glass will catch on the way Google hopes.

Because really, who wants to look like a robot, other than hardcore geeks? If I'm going to wear a computer, I still want to look definitively human, especially around the face; i.e., I still want to look attractive--to women, men, whomever. This is one reason I think Apple is planning to develop an iWatch instead of a headset: a watch doesn't risk making you look less sexually appealing.
posted by Cash4Lead at 7:44 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is the demo video literally captured from the hardware? If so, that's really impressive.

Entirely aside from Google as a business, it's a surprisingly emotional experience to think of the kinds of things this type of technology will cause.
posted by odinsdream at 7:45 AM on February 20, 2013


Sometimes the Googly Bear Market eats you.
posted by effluvia at 7:46 AM on February 20, 2013


I did make a sceptical comment upthread about the technology, but at the same time I do feel compelled to point back to Metafilter's review of the iPod when it was first launched ...
posted by carter at 7:47 AM on February 20, 2013 [12 favorites]


They should get Spider Jerusalem to advertise them.

And Prodigy to do the music.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:48 AM on February 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm kind of hoping the iWatch thing is actually misdirection on Apple's part for some even better wizbang thing.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:48 AM on February 20, 2013


(Hand strokes large block of ice)
"OK Glass, Google photos of tiger heads."

It's hilarious. Some good remixes of this dreadful video must be along within a couple of hours.
posted by colie at 7:49 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Skeptic > Why does the old "X-ray goggles" scam immediately come to mind?

With a fast enough processor, NSFWlink - PhotoShop and white-clothed individuals, maybe it could.
posted by guy72277 at 7:58 AM on February 20, 2013


Anyone else getting this vibe? Didn't end well, IIRC.
posted by The Bellman at 8:03 AM on February 20, 2013


The fun that will be had running up to folks and shouting 'OK GLASS, IMAGE SEARCH GOATSE, SHARE ALL MY CONTACTS' will be legendary.
posted by Happy Dave at 8:04 AM on February 20, 2013 [21 favorites]


As an "augmented reality device" this looks like a flop. But I bet the folks at GoPro are all like "Oh Snap!"
posted by Brodiggitty at 8:05 AM on February 20, 2013


I totally agree with all the tired pointless snark here. I wish companies would stop trying to make something new and instead make me a phone with a slightly different screen and a slightly better camera.
posted by markr at 8:07 AM on February 20, 2013 [18 favorites]


The fun that will be had running up to folks and shouting 'OK GLASS, IMAGE SEARCH GOATSE, SHARE ALL MY CONTACTS' will be legendary.

You mean kinda like this?
posted by RolandOfEld at 8:08 AM on February 20, 2013


You know, though I'm mocking the contest, I'm not saying I wouldn't take one in a hot second and I do look forward to the day when they are more useful.

And they do look sort of ridiculous. But Ugg boots were once popular, so you know...

And if you'd asked me 10-15 years ago who would be buried in their cell phone for their entire commute, I'd have thought 'hardcore geeks' too. And yet it's now pretty much everyone on my morning and evening trains.

What I'm saying is I don't trust my judgment on consumer tech trends, and I don't really trust yours either.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:08 AM on February 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


So if I win they cost me $1,500 and I have to visit New York or California? How much and where if I lose?

Twice as much and you have pick them up at a Motel 6 on the edge of Secaucus or Fresno.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:08 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Second prize is a refurbished Aibo.
posted by roger ackroyd at 8:08 AM on February 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


I wish companies would stop trying to make something new and instead make me a phone with a slightly different screen and a slightly better camera.

Looks like Google heard you.
posted by colie at 8:10 AM on February 20, 2013


Second prize is a refurbished Aibo.

Third prize is you're fired.
posted by entropicamericana at 8:15 AM on February 20, 2013 [22 favorites]


Dear Google,

First of all. Wow. If you had told me five years ago that I'd have the chance to pay $1,500 to beta test and advertise a product for you I would've said 'get the heck out of town'! But here we are. Magical.

I guess the first thing I would do with Google Glass would be to look goddamn awesome. I can't even imagine how jealous my friends are going to be when I show up at our weekly microblog circle with my headware. It's true that I'm going to have to turn my head at weird angles to observe their facial expressions because the weather and time reticle is going to be in my way, but also I guess I can just have the GG take a picture, and then I can view that picture later, so yeah, that's like the second thing I'll do. And also the third thing I'll do will be to give absolutely accurate readouts of both the time and the weather every eight minutes, since it's always going to be in the right hand corner of my field of vision. That's three things already!

The fourth thing I'm going to do is to buy a leather jacket, some fingerless gloves, and finally live out my William Gibson Fantasy Life. Haha, we're finally here, aren't we? No more cumbersome "taking my phone out of my pocket". Think of all the energy I'll save! I seriously can't wait to be suffused in a constant stream of data! I've always hated being 'present' or 'in the moment' so having a small low resolution screen constantly in my field of vision will finally allow me to merge with the cyber stream or whatever. That's just sick as hell, in my opinion. And, I mean, going off your promo video I can share my awesome Google techie lifestyle with all of my friends. I have a feeling that instead of hot air ballooning and eating Authentic Thai Food in Literal Thailand On One of Those Authentic Boats it's going to be a lot more of me taking dumps and staring at my computer screen, but still, get ready to peep my new VLOG (also that's number 5).

The final, sixth, and most important thing is that I'm going to get the best fucking advertising ever. Remember that time that I typed "roid cream" because I was looking for topical steroids, and you kept sending me hemorrhoid ads? Well, that's a thing of the past, because I'm about to give you a live video feed of my waking life to work with. Just take my wallet already! I'd like to think that I'm almost as excited about that as you are!

Well, I hope that you guys pick me for Google Glasses.

Sincerely,
posted by codacorolla at 8:16 AM on February 20, 2013 [31 favorites]


Think I'm on the same page as MCMikeNamara here... if the iPhone has taught us anything, it's that once you open a piece of well made personal tech to a developer community through APIs, it's really difficult to predict what inventiveness will stem from it.

While I can't imagine wearing this on my face in it's first gen because quite frankly I AM VAIN AS FUCK, who's to say what it will look like and what its capabilities will be five generations down the road?
posted by modernnomad at 8:23 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


OK GLASS GET ME SOME MOUNTAIN DEW! AWESOME! WOOOOOOOOOOOO

The potential of machine vision + network + voice control + tiny display, all in a wearable format, is pretty much endless. And the best commercial Google can come up with makes it look like little more than a voice-activated camera?
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 8:24 AM on February 20, 2013


Glassing. Warning: Gore.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:26 AM on February 20, 2013


Is the demo video literally captured from the hardware?

Does anyone know yet? If it isn't, will Google will be embarrassed like Nokia were with the same issue?

And snark aside, this is just desperately disappointing. At a time when 'wearables' are emerging as devices that can track, aggregate, and analyse information about your life, using the resources of the cloud etc, and offer you options beyond what would otherwise be comprehensible, one of the world's richest and (self-proclaimed) techbrainiest companies gives us...

...a phone in your glasses with a voice-activated video camera and a heads-up display of the weather.
posted by colie at 8:27 AM on February 20, 2013


This is like the one instance where the asinine invention that is the QR code is actually useful, and Google doesn't use it.
posted by codacorolla at 8:30 AM on February 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


I do feel compelled to point back to Metafilter's review of the iPod when it was first launched

Hmm, yes, let's.

Apple changes the hubcaps and proclaims that they've reinvented the wheel

Still true today.
posted by adamdschneider at 8:30 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


There are some top-down driven innovations that take off. This ain't one of them. Expensive and goofy computer glasses are not on the average consumer's "must have" list.

Even Apple's watch gizmo and the Pebble are going to be Bluetooth Headset: The Next Generation - beloved by nerds and power users and sneered at and ignored by the average user.

The smartphone is pretty much where we're going to be at for the next decade or so - computer fits in your pocket, you can look at it when you want to, and then put it away into your picket again when you are done. Google Glass is going to be a rather silly failure.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:31 AM on February 20, 2013


All this skydiving, etc., is a marked improvement on the last demo I saw of this, which featured some doofus learning to play the ukulele to impress his girlfriend.
posted by brundlefly at 8:34 AM on February 20, 2013


IEEE Spectrum: Do you see any flaws in the current design of Google Glass and the smart glasses Vuzix recently released?

Steve Mann: The biggest flaw is that it’s generation one. It should be generation four or generation five. In the same sense that looking at a computer screen all day can give you eyestrain, this can ruin your eyes.


Why Smart Glasses Might Not Make You Smarter: A Q&A with wearable-computer pioneer Steve Mann

As someone asked above, it doesn't look to cater to existing glasses user base. I'll have to finally break down and get contacts if I want to use this.

And I look fwd to the inevitable GG Loves GG (Girls' Generation meets Google Glass) ad campaign once it's out in Korea. Ayo GG!
posted by shortfuse at 8:35 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


While I can't imagine wearing this on my face in it's first gen because quite frankly I AM VAIN AS FUCK

I'm old enough to remember when "car phones" were only used by entitled douchebags and the internet was for neckbeards.

Bluetooth headsets never really caught on because they weren't useful enough. This is at least in part because the hardware just isn't there, think tablets in 1995. I suspect even the best of them are going to be remembered as the Nomads prior to someone, maybe Google, maybe Apple, getting wearables right. Is Glass good enough, like the iPod was good enough? Hard to say from the video.

Heck, maybe it will be Nike who gets it right. The market for fitness monitors and smart watches is exploding right now, if Quickstarter interest is indicative of what the public might want.
posted by bonehead at 8:37 AM on February 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Is the demo video literally captured from the hardware?

Does anyone know yet? If it isn't, will Google will be embarrassed like Nokia were with the same issue?


I'm sure the raw video is really from the camera, since they did a livestreamed demo of the hardware at Google I/O back in June. OTOH, the video compositing it with the overlay is surely simulated, since no one would actually see that view... the wearer would just see the overly and the "video' would be real life.
posted by smackfu at 8:40 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


All I actually want in terms of wearable computing is an ordinary size ring that tells me the time (curved e-ink panel) and vibrates when my phone gets a call or other notification (bluetooth). Married men everywhere would get one - and pay good money for it too.

Make me that, someone.
posted by dickasso at 8:43 AM on February 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


Bluetooth headsets never really caught on because they weren't useful enough.

There's a certain strata of white male middle aged doofuses who I still see wearing bluetooth earpieces all the time. Maybe they really do take a lot of Very Important Calls all day long, but as far as I can tell the bluetooth earpiece is the new cell phone belt holster.
posted by usonian at 8:43 AM on February 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


I spend all day in front of a computer, as do many of you.

I have lots of repetitive stress issues from that practice, as do many of you.

I take all kinds of crazy steps to avoid my body literally falling apart because of my livelihood.

SO, If there's an invention that allows me to get information without typing, touching, swiping, mouse clicking, or otherwise using my dysfunctional hands and wrists connected to my even more dysfunctional arms and shoulders, I'm all for that.

This Google Glass, it's an early adopter prototype. The fact that they are super open about it early in development is quite wonderful. That level of openness deserves some open-mindedness.

Give it a little slack, snarkers. Regardless of whether you want to wear it or not, it's some damn impressive technology innovation that we get to see in its infancy.
posted by mcstayinskool at 8:44 AM on February 20, 2013 [9 favorites]


Bunny Ultramod: "Act three: People who live in glass houses, in which our hero something something porn."

Act four: Regrets listed while Massive Attack's Teardrop plays in the background.
posted by boo_radley at 8:44 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yay for more Panopticon! You'll never escape!
posted by adipocere at 8:48 AM on February 20, 2013


Walking around talking into a Bluetooth earpiece is still seen as kind of a douchey activity.

Some of us make choices based on what works best for us, not based on what judgmental brats might think.
posted by ambient2 at 8:49 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


...an ordinary size ring that tells me the time (curved e-ink panel) and vibrates when my phone gets a call or other notification... Make me that, someone.

If RTGs were legal for civilian use it would probably be possible to do all kinds of stuff like this. Power consumption seems to be the deal-killer on all of this wearable, miniaturized stuff. Perhaps super-caps on printed, bendable graphene will help.
posted by odinsdream at 8:55 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Can someone clarify as neither Wikipedia or the Google page is clear on this: the actual Glass hardware still needs to be paired up over Bluetooth to an Android phone in your pocket, right? I'm assuming it's just a small battery + Bluetooth chip + display + camera and then all the smarts and sensoring and internety stuff is still eating up battery power in your pocket.
posted by rh at 8:55 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I love the concept of it. To be able to video call people while wearing this would be awesome, but until we are freed from ridiculous tiered data use plans it ain't happening.
posted by Big_B at 8:57 AM on February 20, 2013


What I mean by not useful enough: there's no third party development for them, no "killer app" that wasn't in by design. Bluetooth headsets are useful for taking calls, and not much more. That's great if you're trying to do a mobile version of a telephone headset, but doesn't offer a great community for third parties to build new capabilities.

One of the reasons that both the iPod and the iPhone/Android platforms took off is that they weren't just MP3 players or "phones with daytimers". They could do so much more, stuff that hadn't been thought of at launch.
posted by bonehead at 8:58 AM on February 20, 2013


I do this with bungee cords and an iPhone. I call it the iPatch.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:59 AM on February 20, 2013 [5 favorites]


If you video called people while wearing this, they woudn't be able to see you - unless you had some other kind of camera accessory that you held up and pointed at yourself.

I guess you could look into a mirror?

Anyway.. I will take the opportunity to launch my new emoticon for Google Glass: o_O°
posted by dickasso at 9:01 AM on February 20, 2013


All new things look stupid. For a certain subset of the population - i.e. the hopelessly geeky - this is a feature, not a bug. I WOULD WEAR THE SHIT OUT OF THESE THINGS. And look utterly ridiculous, as I am a short, plump, grey-haired grandmother.
posted by Mary Ellen Carter at 9:05 AM on February 20, 2013 [7 favorites]


ಠ_ರೃ
posted by LogicalDash at 9:06 AM on February 20, 2013 [8 favorites]


It's like Charlie Stross's "Manfred Macx" stories come to life. Sort of.

I applaud Google for trying something new, but it'll probably be a while before this technology can deliver an experience that's totally new. (IE: not just your phone or camera on your forehead.)

Macx's glasses were adaptive, correcting his vision and providing a display screen for information only he could see. But the real coolness was the hardware and software agents hidden behind the scenes that augmented his mind.
posted by Kevin Street at 9:07 AM on February 20, 2013


Only ONE single picture of a person actually wearing the thing and they have their jacket hood up.
posted by wcfields at 9:09 AM on February 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


the wearer would just see the overlay and the "video' would be real life.

Oh yeah, I was actually snarking away and got a bit confused about the ingredient still known as 'real life' in there.
posted by colie at 9:09 AM on February 20, 2013


I can't wait for the eventual release of Quarantine 5: Glass Upside Yo Head (Based on the Spanish original, Rec 7: En La Sombra de Monte Colocación de Producto)
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 9:17 AM on February 20, 2013


this is another one of those threads where I tell everybody to read Feed by MT Anderson.
posted by changeling at 9:22 AM on February 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is pretty cool. I'm kind of confused as to why people are disappointed. Seriously, what on earth were we expecting this would do? Doing all the stuff it does completely hands-free, giving directions, searching the web, and translating voice immediately, that stuff all seems like pretty much the stuff the average user would want to do with these glasses.

And, yeah, there are probably outlandish things you could do with them, too. I'm not sure why people think those things won't be possible with these glasses as they are. It seems like the whole point of this is to try to get people doing those outlandish things anyway - hence the "tell us what you'd do with it" thingie.
posted by koeselitz at 9:25 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


My understanding is that Apple is...

I just knew someone would bring up the almighty fruit as if to say "if Apple sold this, it wouldn't be dorky."

What I would do with Glass is stare through one computer screen to look at my other computer screens. I have no doubt while wearing this thing I would still pull out my phone to check the time and my Facebook feed.

But I'd seriously think about a prescription version of this if it were about 1/3 as expensive. The excitement level on this specific product is not high for me, but get to the second or third generation and we'll all be wondering how we lived without it.
posted by Foosnark at 9:28 AM on February 20, 2013


"I could probably just rig up some head gear for my iphone to do that." That is basically Metafilter's "No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame," right there. The engineering on these things is not trivial. It is an inevitable product, if you have a world full of smart engineers and components being constantly further miniaturized for smart phones, but not at all trivial--especially for something that needs to be light enough to be hanging on your face for hours.

BTW, I've tried to watch all the demos very carefully, and I haven't seen any indication that there's any machine vision happening at all, and in fact the demos don't show anything that's normally considered to be augmented reality. It's a pretty basic HUD, and it doesn't even have any elements that are responsive to your position or attitude, like a pitch ladder or compass on a typical jet HUD.

However, this is the first (publicly revealed) generation. I expect first you'll see directional arrows for following routes, compass headings, distances, stuff like that. You won't see overlays since the display is just a small portion of the visual field, but once the (presumably) processor and power obstacles are overcome the display can be used to show interpretations of the scene being viewed--run it through edge detectors, aalib, optical flow, whatever.
posted by jjwiseman at 9:32 AM on February 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


wcfields: “Only ONE single picture of a person actually wearing the thing and they have their jacket hood up.”

In the video? There are several people wearing them. Skydiver guy about a third of the way through is shown wearing them, as is gymnast woman about halfway through.

To be honest, I don't really know what you mean, since neither of those people have jackets at all and I don't see any such pictures on the site.
posted by koeselitz at 9:34 AM on February 20, 2013


(Ah, I guess you mean the "how to get one" page.)
posted by koeselitz at 9:35 AM on February 20, 2013


entropicamericana: "Second prize is a refurbished Aibo.

Third prize is you're fired.
"

Fourth Prize is an Aibo and you're fired.
posted by boo_radley at 9:35 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


"You won't see overlays since the display is just a small portion of the visual field, but once the (presumably) processor and power obstacles are overcome the display can be used to show interpretations of the scene being viewed--run it through edge detectors, aalib, optical flow, whatever."

That would be pretty cool, but my guess is that there's always going to be a phone or phone-like component to these things hidden in a pocket doing the work. Especially if they start to handle that kind of heavy duty processing.
posted by Kevin Street at 9:41 AM on February 20, 2013


changeling: this is another one of those threads where I tell everybody to read Feed by MT Anderson.


And for a significantly happier image of augmented reality, see Dennō Coil.
posted by Room 101 at 9:42 AM on February 20, 2013


So will this magic helmet make my life interesting, or will I still just be sitting on the couch in my underwear watching "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo"?
posted by nowhere man at 9:46 AM on February 20, 2013


Even Apple's watch gizmo and the Pebble are going to be Bluetooth Headset: The Next Generation - beloved by nerds and power users

And middle aged black dudes too, for some reason.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 9:48 AM on February 20, 2013


> So will this magic helmet make my life interesting, or will I still just be sitting on the couch in my underwear watching "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo"?

6 in one...
posted by Burhanistan at 9:50 AM on February 20, 2013


The correct answer is fighting crime while riding on your Segway armed with nunchucks.
posted by cazoo at 9:52 AM on February 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


So... let's say Apple were to build a version of these, but wanted to have Retina™ displays in their retina displays. For pixels to not be perceivable, then assuming their 53 pixels per degree threshold still holds true so close to the eye, they'd need to be able to make 3200 DPI displays. (my estimate: 53 PPD x 1/2 inch display x 30 degrees)
posted by rh at 9:58 AM on February 20, 2013


my son sent away for some "night vision goggles" from japan.

he got a pair of plastic glasses with a flashlight.

just sayin.
posted by ecourbanist at 10:01 AM on February 20, 2013


I consulted on the first round of video glasses back in the 90s. We had the first prototypes out of the lab for color organic LED displays which were about one inch square at the time. The military was interested in portable heads-up displays. They tried to take it commercial but content was the problem. About the only practical input at the time was a Sony Walkman DVD player.

I also worked on one of the first practical wristwatch TVs back in the 90s. The customer was classified so we don't know exactly what they had in mind, but I always pictured a spook in an overcoat and fedora hiding in the "inky shadows" of an alley while remotely keeping track of the comings and goings at the bookstore/secret-spy-entrance next door.
posted by JackFlash at 10:10 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


dickasso: "If you video called people while wearing this, they woudn't be able to see you - unless you had some other kind of camera accessory that you held up and pointed at yourself. "

Good point. Maybe a tiny camera pointing back at you!
"Speak to my giant eyeball and gaze into the abyss!"
posted by Big_B at 10:16 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I would name mine Philip.
I would name mine Philip.
Phi-lip phi-lip phi-lip.
I would name mine Philip
and teach it to love minor thirds.
posted by weston at 10:17 AM on February 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


What I’d do with it is the same as what everyone else is going to do with it, sell it on Ebay.
posted by bongo_x at 10:19 AM on February 20, 2013


When you guys imagined this kind of incredible technology as a kid, translating your own voice on the fly, connecting what you see instantly with anyone else, looking up anything at any time, did you imagine this caustic chorus of sneering superiority as well?
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 10:31 AM on February 20, 2013 [10 favorites]


It's funny to think about doing video chat with these, because you'd have to do it in a mirror. That's the future: goobers in monocles talking to themselves in the mirror.
posted by codacorolla at 10:34 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've got no problem with Google Glass. It isn't what we've been conditioned to expect from science fiction (at least, not yet), and $1500 is a lot for a face phone. But it's still early days for this technology, and at least Google is putting something out there in the wild, instead of shelving the prototype in a lab somewhere. Five or ten years from now these things will be amazing, and we'll take them completely for granted.
posted by Kevin Street at 10:36 AM on February 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


did you imagine this caustic chorus of sneering superiority as well?

I'm not sure why a clunky overpriced gadget that's still in beta and is being marketed so crassly is getting any defense from anyone not on the project.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:37 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


When you guys imagined this kind of incredible technology as a kid, translating your own voice on the fly, connecting what you see instantly with anyone else, looking up anything at any time, did you imagine this caustic chorus of sneering superiority as well?

We had dudes on the moon 40 years ago.

These glasses look extremely underwhelming, and they're not helped by an ad which in its cringeworthy extreme-sports-MBA-dude-is-also-a-sculptor-goes-to-Thailand-foodie idiocy is sub-Nokia circa 2002. And look what happened to them.
posted by colie at 10:43 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: goobers in monocles talking to themselves in the mirror
posted by brundlefly at 10:49 AM on February 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Call me when I can play Ingress on these things. The Ingress from their trailers on YouTube, not Ingress as it currently is, google-maps-android-in-dark-blue-and-black-with-capture-the-flag-and-space-noises.

Because don't get me wrong, I love me the current incarnation of Ingress, but the game I really want to be playing is the one from the trailers, and they'll need Google Glass to pull that off.
posted by radwolf76 at 10:54 AM on February 20, 2013


First prize, you pay $1500 and travel to one of three cities on your dime.

Second prize, you pay $1500, travel to one of three cities on your dime, and you actually have to wear this out in public.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:54 AM on February 20, 2013


While I can't imagine wearing this on my face in it's first gen because quite frankly I AM VAIN AS FUCK, who's to say what it will look like and what its capabilities will be five generations down the road?

Charles Stross does this pretty well in halting State and to a lesser extent in Rule 34. One of the effects is that, eye contact becomes slightly risque actually.
posted by edbles at 11:12 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Google co-founder Sergey Brin spotted wearing Glass on the NY subway.
posted by whyareyouatriangle at 11:36 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think it looks pretty damn cool.
posted by Hartham's Hugging Robots at 11:38 AM on February 20, 2013


I'm going to use it to Google: WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOU GET PUNCHED IN THE FA
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:55 AM on February 20, 2013


People who film roller coasters will strap, bolt, mount, duct tape their cameras to the train, anything to reduce vibration. People who use handheld cameras on coasters end up with shakycam footage to rival Cloverfield. There's a reason why that Glass video cuts away from the drop on the Cyclone before the G forces kick in and your eeennnttiiirreee bbbbooodddyyy gggoooeess lliiikkkeeee ttthhhhiiiss.

That said, if I got those glasses I would strap them on my cat, say "Ok glass record video" and then leave the house. And at the end of the day, I would finally know.
posted by Spatch at 12:36 PM on February 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure why a clunky overpriced gadget that's still in beta and is being marketed so crassly is getting any defense from anyone not on the project.

Optimists vs. pessimists.
posted by smackfu at 12:37 PM on February 20, 2013


robocop is bleeding: ""Damn right," I'd shout, ripping open my shirt to reveal a Balotelli-style t-shirt reading 'King of the Nerds' on the front and trollface.jpg on the back. "See you later, shitlords!" I'd scream as I ran through the crowd, gathering up my compatriot before jumping on the Game of Thrones Iron Throne rickshaw they had at the last Comic Con. Pulled to freedom by a team of actors dressed as genderswapped Doctors Who, I would wave goodbye to my subjects."

THIS IS WHY KICKSTARTER WAS INVENTED

I AM IN FOR $20 (SAME AS IN TOWN)
posted by scrump at 12:40 PM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


When you guys imagined this kind of incredible technology as a kid, translating your own voice on the fly, connecting what you see instantly with anyone else, looking up anything at any time, did you imagine this caustic chorus of sneering superiority as well?

I imagined a lot of cool things about the future when I was a kid. This wasn’t one of them. I also was unaware at the time how lame the future would actually be when it got here. When I watched Star Trek as a kid I imagined a great society with communicators. Not a lesser society with better communicators. I guess I assumed at some point we’d allocate resources a little better.
posted by bongo_x at 12:48 PM on February 20, 2013 [6 favorites]


Some of my favourite tweets:

#ifihadglass I would evolve into pure data. I would exist beyond space, beyond time. No trivial units to pollute my abstraction. 111000110.

#ifihadglass I'd show you... I'd show you all

#ifihadglass I would ask them how to fight a mugger while they were being stolen off my face.

#ifihadglass I would feel more confident at job interviews!

#ifIhadglass I would look really stupid wearing them over my regular glasses.

#ifihadglass I'd be lazy and watch cable TV while eating Cheetos and uploading vapid status updates to FB, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram.

I want to feel and use the real technology in my region #ifihadglass


And then there's a creepy one, maybe from an Eric Schmidt devotee:

#ifihadglass I would always know where she is. Always.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:52 PM on February 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


So, basically, it's a gopro with voice control and internet connectivity?
posted by ye#ara at 12:57 PM on February 20, 2013


The Glass piece isn't interchangeable from right eye to left?

Apropos of nothing, I always wondered what would happen if Geordi La Forge got up in the morning and put his visor on upside down.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:02 PM on February 20, 2013


Ok, so if you actually, seriously had a good idea for a Google glasses app, and you were planning on developing that app, you wouldn't be dumb enough to publicly announce it (complete with pictures and video as requested) for just the chance to get a dev kit. So this is pretty clearly not targeted at actual developers, but at... internet celebrities? But if you're an internet celebrity, why would you publicly praise Google for the chance to pay for Google glasses? If they're trying to drive twitter interest, about a third of the tweets are making fun of Google, so I'm not sure that's really succeeding either.

I think the glasses are an interesting experiment, but Google's attempt to make them seem like some sort of status symbol for the technocratic elite is really offputting.
posted by Pyry at 1:14 PM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Surely the killer app for this is facial recognition. You would never need to have that awkward moment where you can't remember someone's name. Also, if you had Lulu it could display a guy's ratings as you checked him out.

I am not really joking, surely this was the kind of thing we all expected to see in the demo?
posted by colie at 1:40 PM on February 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


Surely the killer app for this is facial recognition. You would never need to have that awkward moment where you can't remember someone's name.

You mean my every day existence? Fuck it. I'm sold.
posted by brundlefly at 2:23 PM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


It'd really fricking cool if they got C. Walken to do a commercial about these. Or cloned Nathalie Wood to do it.
posted by rudster at 2:30 PM on February 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Surely the killer app for this is facial recognition. ... surely this was the kind of thing we all expected to see in the demo?

I've been expecting it since October 23rd, 1996. (Though do you really need facial recognition to pick out Alan Alda?)
posted by radwolf76 at 2:32 PM on February 20, 2013


Apropos of nothing, I always wondered what would happen if Geordi La Forge got up in the morning and put his visor on upside down.

I always wondered if he took it off during sex.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:33 PM on February 20, 2013


You would never need to have that awkward moment where you can't remember someone's name.

Interesting idea. You could potentially have access to all sorts of other info too. I could see this developing into situations where you meet someone, check to see if they are wearing a Glass unit, and then you watch their eye to see if they are looking you up in Google ID+ (or whatever it will be called).
posted by carter at 2:39 PM on February 20, 2013


I always wondered if he took it off during sex.

If I know anything about Geordi LaForge is that he never, ever actually had sex (outside the holodeck)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:39 PM on February 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


Looking forward to checking these out when they appear on the back shelf at my Goodwill in a few years.
posted by bonobothegreat at 2:51 PM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure it was Geordi's close friend who inspired this thing in the first place. I wonder if he kept his on.
posted by missmerrymack at 2:56 PM on February 20, 2013


could be like how dashcams are being used in Russia :P or if you put some Google Goggles on your baby they could go back to any moment of their life with perfect recollection!

Google co-founder Sergey Brin spotted wearing Glass on the NY subway.

Sergey Brin on taking moonshots & the value of failing
posted by kliuless at 3:10 PM on February 20, 2013


I played around with some stereoscopic LCD goggles like forever ago. Except for the peripheral external view, the experience does not seem to have advanced much. I recall 15 years ago peeking at blurry Palm screens on the commute, reading about DLP, anticipating direct retinal projection with fovea tracking. Why is that not yet a thing I can buy? Is it the whole shooting-lasers-into-the-eye thing? Does that give lawyers the wiggles?

I hope Google's first release succeeds to an extent where the tech is eventually commoditised into toys for kids, then remaindered for pennies at Toys R Us. Then I get one, wear it out with my 1989-vintage PowerGlove, and be so bad.
posted by meehawl at 3:12 PM on February 20, 2013


oculus rift looked pretty cool: "live demo here [day 2], starting at 22:00"
posted by kliuless at 3:33 PM on February 20, 2013


what you'd do with it

The same thing I do with my mobile phone - post on the Internet and take photos while walking. I'm not sure what I'd do with me two new free hands, though. Maybe set it to auto-record everything.

This has been a long time coming, but it's only a stopgap until we get the tech implanted into our heads. Using a physical interphase is still too clumsy.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 3:38 PM on February 20, 2013


Plus if it can connect the camera to Facebook's facial recognition software I could use it to know the names of all the randoms I keep running into. That's also a long time coming.

I just entered that in the contest - hope it wins!
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 3:39 PM on February 20, 2013


There is no compelling use-case for this device at this time other than "be seen wearing it".


No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame.

The last device I was cynical about was the iPad, and now even ardent technophobic judges carry them.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 3:43 PM on February 20, 2013


There is no compelling use-case for this device at this time other than "be seen wearing it".

I am wary of technology pervading our lives and additionally am skeptical of Google as a company, but this is stupid. Glass right now is about the technology, not about the specific usages. If the technology's good, developers will have a field day with this – can you really think of no good things an eye-mounted computer could be used for?
posted by Rory Marinich at 4:03 PM on February 20, 2013


It looks like they were just talking about this device, not the idea itself, dudes.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:10 PM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is pretty cool. I'm kind of confused as to why people are disappointed. Seriously, what on earth were we expecting this would do?

The stuff in their widely parodied concept promo?

In case people didn't see it back then, here's my favorite art-commentary on augmented reality's likely fate:

Domestic Robocop
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:33 PM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


can you really think of no good things an eye-mounted computer could be used for?

I can think of many things an eye-mounted computer could be used for, good and evil. I expect that shareholders will make sure that this particular implementation will be used to push the equivalent of blipverts into people's brains and is therefore on the evil end of the scale.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:34 PM on February 20, 2013


Yeah, basically what snuffleupagus links to...
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:35 PM on February 20, 2013


I can think of many things an eye-mounted computer could be used for, good and evil. I expect that shareholders will make sure that this particular implementation will be used to push the equivalent of blipverts into people's brains and is therefore on the evil end of the scale.

I dunno, you could get some awesome targetted advertisements with this. I spend lots of time staring a pole posters and taking photos - what if you could automatically link to the things the pole posters are advertising? I feel like there's a divide - I'm not sure what it is - between people who fully embrace the Facebook map of the world and those who don't.

I heard a cool radio program on people who record their lives constantly, but I can't find it. It had a few researches talking about how it could remember things for people who lost their memory.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 4:39 PM on February 20, 2013


The last device I was cynical about was the iPad, and now even ardent technophobic judges carry them.

Technology that looks like it was stolen from a Redshirt usually ends up selling. Smartphones finally gave us tricorders. Starfleet personnel have been carrying around little computerized pads since forever. Generally speaking, personal communicators and handheld computers that resemble traditional tools have been predicted by most people imagining how we would live In The Future, from before a real market came into existence to start making people think about what is practical.

So when what we can make starts to dovetail with what we've always imagined, it stands to reason that adoption will follow--even if that seems to fly in the face of what we've been doing for the last few years, or couple decades.

Time to kickstart a bluetooth speakerphone that looks like a comm badge. Huge logo licensing opportunity follows....pair it up with biomonitoring and you've got the personal Link from B5.
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:39 PM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Can others see what your Glass is projecting from any angle or did they work that out?I'd be so embarrassed if someone could see me looking at their google.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:43 PM on February 20, 2013


ಠ_ರೃ

That reads as TaRrr to me (the script is Kannada).

posted by dhruva at 5:21 PM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


It'd really fricking cool if they got C. Walken to do a commercial about these. Or cloned Nathalie Wood to do it.

Google Glass: It's exactly like being there watching a movie about being there.
posted by Sparx at 5:49 PM on February 20, 2013


I need to get in tough with the Google people before this thing crashes and burns. Eyeglasses? Any doofuss can wear those. Plus, then you've still got that pesky "real world" bugging you through BOTH eyes. This device should be in the form of an eye patch. Then you could talk like a pirate with real credibility. Or maybe you could bulk your muscles up and intimidate people while wearing the patch. Everyone knows guys with eye patches are all badass and should never be messed with.

Then, once you've become addicted to your Google Patch, you can simply close the unpatched eye to reject that pesky "real world."

Or, if you wanna let the sales and marketing people go nuts, you could wear a second Google Patch over your uncovered eye! Double bliss! Think of all the delicious advertising you could lose yourself in.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 6:55 PM on February 20, 2013 [3 favorites]


Does the Google Glass also have a tint you can control, so it works as sunglasses?
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:57 PM on February 20, 2013


I work a boring office job and fart way too much to want something like this.
posted by lkc at 12:10 AM on February 21, 2013


Does anyone remember the metafilter post for the first iPod? (people panned it)

This is going to be fucking huge. FUCKING HUGE. You people lack imagination. It will take a few years, but devices like this are going to change our culture. Oh my fucking god, people.
posted by victory_laser at 3:39 AM on February 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't remember panning the iPod when it came out, but i do remember participating in a metafilter thread a couple of days before it was announced. I said something like "I have a Sony W810i phone; it is great for calling, texting, and it plays all my MP3s without issue. I really can't imagine what Apple could do to improve on it."

After that I decided to never trust my own judgment in predicting the course of consumer technology.
posted by modernnomad at 6:51 AM on February 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is going to be fucking huge. FUCKING HUGE. You people lack imagination. It will take a few years, but devices like this are going to change our culture. Oh my fucking god, people.

I don't doubt that at some point wearable computers will be prevalent, but I also think that the product advertised in the video looks stupid as fuck. On the same note, the iPod was hardly the first MP3 player, and I don't think it did anything better than any other MP3 player on the market at the time other than look pretty and have an apple on it (well, the rotating dial was sort of neat).

I feel the same way about tablet technology. I think that tablets have the potential to be really cool devices, but that current tablet technology (especially the iPad) is really shitty and its popularity is based mostly on marketing ability and a lack of anything better.

It isn't about 'having imagination' when you're talking about the specific instantiation of a type of computer, it's about evaluating what that particular machine can actually do. And right now Google Glass can't do anything that's not achievable by me taping my phone to a ruler, taping that to a head band, and then turning on the voice commands.
posted by codacorolla at 7:05 AM on February 21, 2013


I think that tablets have the potential to be really cool devices, but that current tablet technology (especially the iPad) is really shitty

This is an objectively absurd position. Apple sells almost one iPad every second. They're used everywhere, for all kinds of things.
posted by odinsdream at 7:20 AM on February 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't deny that they're popular, I'm saying that (in my opinion) they're not that impressive.
posted by codacorolla at 8:14 AM on February 21, 2013


the iPod was hardly the first MP3 player, and I don't think it did anything better than any other MP3 player on the market at the time other than look pretty and have an apple on it (well, the rotating dial was sort of neat).
I will take issue with that, heartily. The difference was that the scroll wheel allowed navigation of huge amounts of data, when combined with the scroll acceleration. It also synced well with iTunes, which allowed people to get all their music on the thing without having to understand the concept of a directory. It also had a much higher storage density. In short, if you're doing a checklist of features, there's no "objective" improvement, but the subjective improvements were enough to make it useful for a majority of the population, whereas Creative's devices were only useful for a small minority of the population that were willing to put up with all the BS. These subjective, hard-to-quantify human factors issues were what CmdrTaco missed with "No wireless, less space than a Nomad," and were the really key part of getting a portable audio device right.

Those human factors issues are going to be magnified ten-fold for something that sits on your head and is continuously in your field of view. A successful Glass devices has to get everything exactly right in terms of not annoying the user while also being usable with no or minimal training. And there have to be enough solid use cases to justify wearing head gear that obscures other people's view of your face. Based on the only in-the-wild image of Google Glass, on Sergey Brin in the subway, I think they have a ways to go, since I see that the Glass is slightly off kilter and weighed down on the camera side. That would annoy the hell out of me.

So will augmented reality devices be common at some point in the future? Quite possibly, but it's going to look quite a bit different than this version of Glass. Google Glass has to be viewed as a zeroth-generation product, it's the first mass-market type of device, in an area that has been researched for decade(s?) and already produced devices with capabilities far beyond Google Glass. I think both the snark and the optimism are justified in this thread, they're not inconsistent sentiments.
posted by Llama-Lime at 2:20 PM on February 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


$1500 for the privilege of wearing Google Glasses. $1300 for 32 gigs of SSD. Weird pricing models for their gear, that's for sure.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:01 PM on February 21, 2013


I recall 15 years ago peeking at blurry Palm screens on the commute, reading about DLP, anticipating direct retinal projection with fovea tracking. Why is that not yet a thing I can buy? Is it the whole shooting-lasers-into-the-eye thing? Does that give lawyers the wiggles?

From mashable's report on a Google Glass patent:
Perhaps most intriguing is the description of an advanced headset that projects images directly onto a person's eye. In its description of alternative methods of display, the patent says a version of Google Glass could use "a laser or LED source and scanning system... to draw a raster display directly onto the retina of one or more of the user's eyes."
posted by jjwiseman at 9:26 PM on February 21, 2013


Yeah, fuck that forever.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:36 PM on February 21, 2013


Yeah, fuck that forever.

Yeah I hate breaking down the barriers between human and technology, and want to keep using my clumsy meat-body to control gadgets for the rest of my life.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 9:40 PM on February 21, 2013


LeVar Burton weighs in.

I disagree with him - Google glass looks way cooler than Geordi's visor.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 9:44 PM on February 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


codacorolla: "And right now Google Glass can't do anything that's not achievable by me taping my phone to a ruler, taping that to a head band, and then turning on the voice commands."

And aiming the thing precisely, and making it about ten times smaller and ten times lighter. Which I could totally do in my bathtub with a hammer and duct tape. Is google even trying anymore?

Seriously, these criticisms seem incredibly poorly-thought. Yes, it is a computer strapped to the side of your head. We have had computers for decades. Good fucking luck coming up with uses for computers that nobody has thought of in all those decades. You know what people use cell phones for? Looking up directions to places. "But I can totally Mapquest that in my laptop, which I can carry around with me everywhere! What an idiotic waste of computing power! Nobody's actually innovating here! These stupid cell phones are just a dumb fad!" Like I said, this seems short-sighted to me. There are literally no functions on a smartphone that you couldn't accomplish with a portable computer before the common acceptance of smartphones - and yet, yes, they have been transformative.

I mean, we're sitting here excoriating Google for not having ideas that we don't have either. Maybe we should talk a bit about what we want Google Glass to do that it isn't doing, instead of whining that we don't see anything new here. What do we really want out of this kind of device?
posted by koeselitz at 10:35 PM on February 21, 2013 [1 favorite]



Seriously, these criticisms seem incredibly poorly-thought. Yes, it is a computer strapped to the side of your head. We have had computers for decades. Good fucking luck coming up with uses for computers that nobody has thought of in all those decades. You know what people use cell phones for? Looking up directions to places. "But I can totally Mapquest that in my laptop, which I can carry around with me everywhere! What an idiotic waste of computing power! Nobody's actually innovating here! These stupid cell phones are just a dumb fad!" Like I said, this seems short-sighted to me. There are literally no functions on a smartphone that you couldn't accomplish with a portable computer before the common acceptance of smartphones - and yet, yes, they have been transformative.


There's a character in a William Gibson novel (it's the Sprawl one on the bridge) who has a pair of computer glasses, but the thing that took me out of it was his map/GPS was really shitty. Like it barely worked. And I was thinking "we're going to have these eye mounted cameras soon, and they're going to use the same Google Maps interface that's 100% better than the ones in this book".
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 10:45 PM on February 21, 2013


Maybe we should talk a bit about what we want Google Glass to do that it isn't doing, instead of whining that we don't see anything new here. What do we really want out of this kind of device?

And why should we just give you all of our hard-earned ideas for free? ;)

PS we know from what's already been reported there are also some hardware innovations associated with glass. E.G. the bone audio transducer, the touch interface on the side. I'm sure there's more we don't know about, and more on the way.
posted by victory_laser at 12:30 AM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Here's a thoughtful review from the Verge, courtesy of Josh Topolsky. It looks like he'll have access to one of these things regularly and will providing a longer-term driving experience too.
posted by bonehead at 9:35 AM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah I hate breaking down the barriers between human and technology, and want to keep using my clumsy meat-body to control gadgets for the rest of my life.

Is this supposed to be a rejoinder? Because it's just asinine.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:39 AM on February 22, 2013


Bunny Ultramod: "I would name mine Ira Glass.

Act one: The glass is half-full, in which our intrepid hero uses his "augmented reality head-mounted display" to make porn
Act two: Through the looking glass, in which the hero's head display accidentally broadcasts him watching porn
Act three: People who live in glass houses, in which our hero something something porn.
"

in which our hero something something porn.
posted by Deathalicious at 9:49 AM on February 22, 2013


Topolsky makes an observation that will be familiar to anyone who has taken a photograph: using a camera (or video camera or cell phone) distances the photographer from their subject. For casual recording or quick snapshots, this thing seems to avoid that break between experience and the act of recording the experience: the "your kids are better resolution in real life" problem. Even with a cellphone, that's a problem.
posted by bonehead at 9:50 AM on February 22, 2013


Maybe we should talk a bit about what we want Google Glass to do that it isn't doing

I can’t think of anything I want it to do.

When I was younger I wanted all the new tech and was obsessed with it. As I’ve gotten older I’m less and less interested. Now I’m just looking at this and thinking thank God I’m old enough that I can probably go the rest of my life without dealing with this even if everyone else in the world is.

I’ve been wrong about the usefulness of new technology many times, but…just no.
posted by bongo_x at 10:52 PM on February 22, 2013


was amused by the cynical notion that Google glass could be a "segway for the face". I'm against early adoption generally -- have never bought first generation tech in my life -- so I'm going to watch how this unfolds with great interest.
posted by idlethink at 7:09 PM on February 24, 2013


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