Project Glass is Google’s newest pet project that brings a bit of science fiction into reality.  The hybrid glasses combine the functionality of cameras, microphone, Web browser, and speech recognition with a hands free miniaturized video display.  The New York Times broke the story yesterday and already message boards and various news sources have lit up with activity to show support or criticize the product.

The functionality of Project Glass is very much a work in progress but Google has released a promo video of what they hope to accomplish, which you can view below.

The ease of use of the product as shown raised a lot of eyes as to the possibility that the entire project was nothing more than a late April Fool’s day joke but Google has collaborated that the product is very much real and currently in testing.

While the potential of the device is great it also begs many questions for long term functionality as well as safety.  With ever growing concerns that phones might cause cancer, having a wireless device strapped to your head at all times is likely to draw attention.  On top of that there is the always present danger of accidents caused by the ever present distraction of moving graphics and video.  Beyond the dangers posed by the device there is also the question of battery life, online privacy and the price and fragility of the device.  At this time Google has stated that they are simply gathering feedback from users and hopes that many of the concerns people have can be dealt with before larger scale testing can begin.

Regardless of the potential problems, Google is one of the few companies that could pull off an all-inclusive virtual media device so I suspect this won’t be the last we hear of Project Glass.

– Richard Keene
IT Computer Support of New York
Design and Optimization Department