Google has long been rumoured to be working on a pair of augmented reality glasses, and today the company’s top-secret Google[x] Labs officially announced the project on a Google+ page. Dubbed “Project Glass”, the new glasses feature a heads-up display that sits above the wearers eye and displays information such as map directions, text messages, calendar reminders, and even video chats.
The New York Times‘ Nick Bilton reveals that Google employees will begin testing the glasses in public in the coming weeks. He describes the prototype glasses as “a very polished and well-designed pair of wrap-around glasses with a clear display that sits above the eye. The glasses can stream information to the lenses and allow the wearer to send and receive messages through voice commands. There is also a built-in camera to record video and take pictures”.
On their Google+ page, Glass team members Babek Parviz, Steve Lee, and Sebastian Thrun wrote, “A group of us from Google[x] started Project Glass to build this kind of technology, one that helps you explore and share your world, putting you back in the moment. We’re sharing this information now because we want to start a conversation and learn from your valuable input. So we took a few design photos to show what this technology could look like and created a video to demonstrate what it might enable you to do”.
Google also posted a concept video to YouTube detailing their vision for the glasses, and the future of wearable computing. Google has not yet announced if or when the glasses will be available to the public,
though Bilton originally reported back in February that “several Google employees familiar with the project” claimed the glasses would go on sale before the end of 2012 for between $250 and $600. Wired’s Steven levy reports that he was told a 2012 launch is “extremely unlikely” according to Google.