In the year 2012, there were quite a number of interesting innovations in the field of rovers, robots and yes, glasses. Google glasses (Glass) is one of the most discussed Augmented Reality (AR) headsets, this is mainly attributed to the strong Android based credentials that it espouses. A Google glass in essence is a computer that is built into the frame of a pair of glasses. It allows you to video chat, check and respond to appointments and emails, share photos and surf the internet via voice commands. The glasses can work with either your android smartphone or iPhone via Bluetooth. There are also some controls on the side of the devices.
It is worth noting though that the official release of the Google glass is expected in late 2013 or early 2014. The versions that are currently in the market are the “explorer” versions that were built specifically for competition winners and a set of developers who are busy coming up with some apps for the product as we await its official release.
The Genesis of Google Glasses
Just like many inventions, the Google glass was not meant for the mass market at the onset. It was a lab based undertaking that was used by Google engineers to connect to the internet even when they are walking. To do this, they came up with an AR headset that would allow the engineers to multi-task without having their movement hindered.
Features of the Glasses
As noted earlier, a user will be able to make calls using the device by simply talking to the device. Packed with state of the art voice recognition software, the glasses will only require you to say the caller’s name and Voila! Your call is on.
The glass will also shrink the world and break language barriers as it has translation capabilities that will enable its users to easily translate street names, read road signs in foreign language and have them translated and basically be able to get all the info you require from product by just looking at it. Users will even be told the correct pronunciation of the foreign word in real time.
The current versions have been “taught” some voice commands like “take a picture”. This allows users to take pictures by simply calling out the command. No clicking, positioning or stopping. It is a very good way of taking those excellent photos that call for rare moments as you can get the photo as you perform a different activity. The creation of Google Glass cyborgs starts here!
Users will also be able to record whatever they are doing or any activity that they may be involved in hands free, users will also be capable of sharing whatever they are seeing on a real time basis with other people via Google Hangout live.
The glass is relatively light and sturdy, and when worn by placing it slightly above the right eye, it affords you uninhibited view that is not distracting from the natural environment. It can thus be worn in a variety of situations. The glass used is also so light, making it quite inconspicuous for anyone to notice that you are interacting with a screen. It also has an adjustable nose pad that allows it to fit virtually any face. There are also two extra pads in different sizes for every pair of glass.
Currently, the glasses come in a variety of colors, namely; tangerine, cotton sky, charcoal and shale. More color shades are bound to be introduced when the product is ready for the mass market.
The battery life of the glass is expected to be quite powerful and will generally last a whole day of “typical use”. But the use of lots of apps and video recordings are bound to deplete the battery. It comes with a micro-USB cord that will be used to charge the device. The screen is High definition and has a 640 x 360 display.
The glass is powered with a 5 mega-pixel camera that is capable of 720p video and audio that is transmitted through a bone conduction transducer, it will also pack 16GB of storage memory. But the eyewear will be connected to Google’s cloud storage. This will allow users to store massive amounts of video, files and photos on Google Drive.
With the current advancements, discussion forums are awash with claims and counterclaims on whether we, as a society are now developing into one of cyborgs. There have been fears of an upsurge of Google glass cyborgs once the product is released for the mass market. With the current advancements, where human capabilities are fast being given to computers and both humans and machines are being continuously interlinked in search of the ultimate tool, equipment or weapon; the assertion that we are currently moving towards a society of cyborgs does make a lot of sense. The question is not if, but rather when shall we be a cyborg society.