Babak Parviz, a key engineer on Google's Project Glass, just revealed some new details about the wearable-computing project in an interview with IEEE Spectrum.
Intriguingly, he suggests that the company wants to make money by selling the devices, rather than running ads.
Project Glass is a piece of hardware that wraps a videocamera and computer into a sunglasses-like package, with a display that rests slightly above one eye.
Google showed off the glasses in a skydiving stunt at Google I/O, its annual developers conference, and let developers preorder a test pair for $1,500. Parviz said Google was still working on shipping those early this year, as promised.
- The purpose of Glass is twofold, Parviz said: to "allow people to connect to others with images and video" for "pictorial communications" and to "allow people to access information very, very quickly."
- Augmented reality—where information is overlaid over the physical landscape—"isn't our immediate goal for Google Glass." It may come in the future.
- You may use motion, voice, and touch to control Google Glass: It has "full audio in and audio out" and a touchpad, Parviz notes, and Google has "also experimented with some head gestures." Google Now, a service which anticipates searches based on contextual information like a scheduled plane flight in a user's calendar, may also play a role.
- Google has built email and calendar services specifically for Glass.
- "No plans for advertising" but Google is "very interested in providing the hardware."
- Google is working on allowing Glass wearers to take phone calls. (Which makes sense, since the device looks a bit like an oversized Bluetooth headset.)
Here's what the headset looks like:
Before joining Google, Parviz did research into putting monitoring devices and displays into contact lenses for medical purposes at the University of Washington.
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