Project Glass(Google Glass or
Sergey Brin Glass) is a
development project done by
Google at Google lab to develop
an augmented reality optical
head-mounted display (OHMD)
named Google Glass.
The device was announced on
Google+ by Babak Parviz in early
2012, and more information came
out over in 2013. Google
estimates the release to be in
early 2014. The price is also
unknown as of Feb 2013, but
Google is planning on making them
cost no more than the average
Google Glass products display information in a
smartphone-like format hands-free, and can interact
with the Internet via natural language voice
commands. The eye wear's functionality and
minimalist appearance (aluminium strip with 2 nose
pads) has been compared to Steve Mann's Eye-tap, and
uses Google's Android operating system. Google has
patented the design of Project Glass. Thad Starner
is a Technical/Lead Manager on the project. Google
might run Google Glass along with Android 5.0 (named
Key Lime Pie) expected by 2014.
Though head-worn displays for augmented reality are not a new idea, the
project has drawn media attention mainly due to its backing by Google. The
first Project Glass demo resembles a pair of normal eyeglasses where the lens
is replaced by a head-up display. In the future, new designs may allow
integration of the display into people's normal eye-wear. The main way to
operate the glasses will be through voice commands, and by tilting your head.
However, there are semi-confirmed rumours about many other ways to operate
the glasses. One of the rumours is for scrolling a page. To do this, you simply
make a scrolling motion with your finger on the side of the glasses. Another
way is that a small laser mounted on the glasses will project a keyboard on the
operator's arm and hand. The other hand can be used to type on the keyboard.
The camera will detect what buttons are pressed. The glasses are expected to
run Google's Android mobile operating system.
A touchpad is located on the side of Google
Glass, allowing users to control the device by
swiping through a timeline-like interface
displayed on the screen. Sliding backward
shows current events, such as weather, and
sliding forward shows past events, such as
phone calls, photos, etc.
Google Glass has the ability to take
photos and record 720p HD video.
While video is recording, the screen
The Explorer version of Google Glass uses a Liquid Crystal on
Silicon (LCoS), field-sequential colour, LED illuminated display.
The display's LED illumination is first P-polarized and then shines
through the in-coupling polarizing beam splitter (PBS) to the LCoS
panel. The panel reflects the light and alters it to S-polarization at
active pixel sites. The in-coupling PBS then reflects the S-polarized
areas of light at 45° through the out-coupling beam splitter to
a collimating reflector at the other end. Finally, the out-coupling beam
splitter reflects the collimated light another 45° and into the wearer's
Other than the touchpad, Google Glass can be controlled using "voice
actions". To activate Glass, wearers tilt their heads 30° upward (which
can be altered for preference) or tap the touchpad, and say "O.K.,
Glass." Once Glass is activated, wearers can say an action, such as
"Take a picture", "Record a video", "Hangout with [person/Google+
circle]", "Google 'What year was Wikipedia founded?'", "Give me
directions to the Eiffel Tower", and "Send a message to John"(many of
these commands can be seen in a product video released in February
2013).For search results that are read back to the user, the voice
response is relayed using bone conduction through a transducer that
sits beside the ear, thereby rendering the sound almost inaudible to
Google Glass applications are free applications built by third-party
developers. Glass also uses many existing Google applications, such
as Google Now, Google Maps, Google+, and Gmail.
Third-party applications announced at South by Southwest (SXSW)
include Evernote, Skitch, The New York Times, and Path.
On November 19, 2013, Google unveiled its Glass Development Kit,
showcasing a translation app Word Lens, a cooking app AllTheCooks, and
an exercise app Strava among others as successful examples.
Concerns have also been raised on operating motor vehicles while wearing
the device. On 31 July 2013 it was reported that driving while wearing
Google Glass is likely to be banned in the UK, being deemed careless
driving, therefore a fixed penalty offense, following a decision by
the Department for Transport.
In the US, West Virginia state representative Gary G. Howell introduced an
amendment in March 2013 to the state's law against texting while driving that
would include bans against "using a wearable computer with head mounted
display." In an interview, Howell stated, "The primary thing is a safety
concern, it [the glass headset] could project text or video into your field of
vision. I think there's a lot of potential for distraction.
Google offers a companion
Android and iOS app called
MyGlass, which allows you to
configure and manage your
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy using Google Glass at a meeting of