By Vivian Cheng
The idea is nothing new to science fiction. We’ve all heard of high-tech glasses that don’t serve to improve vision, but allow the user to navigate themselves through a foreign country or interact with friends far away. The idea has had plenty of attempts from home-grown inventors and university research labs, but no major company has thrown its weight behind the futuristic idea. Until now. In their constant drive to try everything, Google is now building and testing augmented reality glasses.
In essence, the augmented reality glasses incorporate much of the utility of a smartphone, allowing the user to instantly set up meetings with friends, get directions in a city, find specific items in a store, and even set up video conferences. As you’d expect in this post-Siri era, these glasses are voice-commanded.
Google’s Big Idea Behind Augmented Reality Glasses
Google’s big idea behind these augmented reality glasses is to make technology a seamlessly integrated part of our lives. A user is able to snap a picture of whatever he is seeing, and then send it to himself instantly. We like to think of technology as working for us rather than with us. We want technology in our reach when we want it and out of our way when we don’t. When we see things we want to capture on camera, we pull out our phone from our pocket and then put it back when we’re done with it. With Google’s augmented reality glasses, we are given the freedom to let technology be a constant part of our lives without it disrupting our activities. But Google has bigger plans for this project. Having these wearable screens could help doctors make diagnoses and be used in business negotiations. With these glasses, we would be presented with the right information at the right time – our time.
However, as cool and innovative as Google’s project sounds, there are people out there who doubt the hype that Google’s stirring up, specifically those who have spent a good amount of their time working with augmented reality devices. They say that the small screen of Google’s augmented reality glasses cannot possibly be offering the experience that Google shows in their promotional videos. With such a small screen, they say, it would be nearly impossible to see and interact with the displays. Their biggest issue with this project is the practicality of it. With all our focus on what’s going on in the screen in front of us (if it even works the way Google claims it does), we take away from our focus and concentration in the real world – and that’s bad, because we never want to lose touch with the world we actually live in, no matter how much the technological world may offer.