…Continued from “Living without Technology”…
So what exactly is Project Glass?
It sounds like a poorly written spy novel or an urban development project, but in fact it’s a pair of smartphone glasses.
According to Google’s promotional video, the glasses will be able to make and receive calls, send text messages, offer turn-by-turn navigation and take and share POV photos and video, all while using the real world as its backdrop (augmenting reality).
In addition to voice activation capabilities and a physical trackpad on the glasses’ right arm, developers have reported to 9 to 5 Google that a simple nodding of the head can control the device, making operation almost imperceptible (and offering users a way to play Angry Birds unnoticed during boring meetings).
Although the prototypes are still behind the promised specs, Google is looking forward to a working beta test for the public within 1-2 years.
If Google can really deliver on this hands-free smartphone, it could very well be the next major culture-changing innovation, leading us down the path to ultimate man-machine interface.
The same smart tech could be applied to contact lenses for a nearly seamless experience, or even to a visual micro-processing lens surgically embedded in the eye for 24/7 use. Scientists could even go so far as to imbed a microchip within the brain that would make controlling your device just a thought away.
Although this sounds like a sci-fi fantasy, it’s not far off. According to Discovery News, researchers at Northwestern University have developed a chip that enables chimpanzees to control their paralyzed limbs.
Who’s to say the team at Northwestern couldn’t merge with Google to apply the Google Glass tech to a functioning mind computer? No more head tilt required – just think and it’s done.
There’s a possibility that the Google team will never find a way to take any of these steps, but that seems unlikely. If their new patent on the technology tells us anything, it seems that one day soon we could forget what it’s like to look up at the sky and not see a floating weather forecast, in the same way we’ve forgotten how to use a folding roadmap.