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Google Glass – An engineer gives us a peek

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Google is more than just a search engine company. They are currently working on a lot of projects, but the projects which interests me the most is the self driving car project and Google Glass project. Self driving car basically focuses on developing the technology that can drive a car without human inputs. That’s an impressive aim, and they are having a lot of progress according to the latest videos online. Google Glass is another project that Google X Lab is currently working on. Basically, Project Glass aims to deliver smartphone like functionality to user’s eyes directly via an eyewear while interacting using natural language voice commands.

We had an update on the Google Glass project last month, and the update came from Babak Parviz, who spoke to Spectrum IEEE about the project. If you don’t know who he is, in 2010, Babak Parviz was a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Washington when Google recruited him to work on wearable-computing technologies and lead its Google Glass project. He had confirmed that they were working really hard on making this project come to reality very soon, and he had also told that Google will be keeping up to its promise and they will be shipping the glasses to the registered developers in early 2013.
After that update, we did get a few updates on the project, and now we have the latest update. The new update may be perhaps be called as a hands on experience dictated by an engineer who got a chance to use the said product. It should be noted that Google is requiring an NDA form to be signed by those who are receiving the Google Glass they pre-ordered last year at Google I/O for $1500, but this update is coming from Soumya Mohan who got to try this amazing device at a tech talk in Stanford.

According to Mohan, the interface in its current shape is rather crude, only displaying a short “list menu with black background and words written in white”. Among the items in the menu, Mohan recalls “Click a picture”, “Shoot a video” and “Voice call”. The whole menu only included about 4-5 options, and Mohan was able to scroll through it by tilting his head.

Previously, Google had filed a patent application for something called bone conduction technology. The technology basically allows the user to hear audio from the device without a speaker, which means there will be better privacy as only the user can hear this. The technology will be very convenient for the user and the device according to the patent will be making use of at least one “vibration transducer”, and hence the user need not be in direct contact with the speaker. If this technology does make it to production version of Google Glass, the device can make use of ear hooks or nose pad as these are the parts that touch the body of the user.
Google Glass is an interesting product. Would you like to buy one for yourself when it makes to the stores?

Source: AA

Google patents Project Glass motion-based theft detection

Project Glass is a research and development program by Google to develop an improved reality head mounted display (HMD). The product, named as Google Glass Explorer Edition, is expected to ship early in 2013 for $1,500.Project Glass is one of the project that Google X Lab is working on, and some of the other cool things that have rolled out of this lab and worth noting is the Google’s self driving Prius.

The Project Glass demo prototype resembled a normal eyewear, with the lens replaced with heads up display. Basically, Project Glass products would be displaying real time information that is currently accessible to most smartphone users hands-free. It will allow the user to interact with Internet using voice commands, similar to how Siri does, but in a more advanced way and all the content will be directly delivered to your eyes using the eyewear. The design is patented and today Google won a new patent for a method which outlines how the device will lock down in case the glass detects any “unnatural movements”. According to the new patent which explains motion based theft detection, if somebody steals your glasses and wears it, the device will alert concerned authorities that the unit has been stolen.

Here’s the abstract of the patent, USPTO 8,223,024:
A wearable computer determines unnatural movements of a head-mounted display (HMD) and triggers a locking mechanism. In one embodiment, the wearable computer receives movement data from one or more sensors and determines that the movement of the HMD is unnatural. In one embodiment, the wearable computer receives movement data from one or more sensors and determines that the HMD is being worn by an unauthorized user. In response to determining an unnatural movement and/or an unauthorized user wearing the HMD, the wearable computer triggers a locking mechanism, which can beneficially provide security measures for the wearable computer.

The devices will hopefully start shipping in early 2013, and people who got a chance to attend Google’s I/O conference were actually able to pre order this cool gadget for $1,500. There’s no word on as to when these glasses will be mass manufactured so that all can afford it, perhaps Google may choose to improve the technology even more before doing so.

via Engadget