Google Previews Internet-Enabled Glasses

By

“Google Glasses” prototype.
NEW YORK—Google unveiled a prototype of its internet-enabled glasses on Wednesday, giving the public a tantalizing preview of how its futuristic wearable computer technology might look and function. It was the first time the company has acknowledged the existence of the so-called “Google Glasses” since reports about its development surfaced several months ago.

Designers from Google[x], a special Google unit that develops new products, posted several photos of the eyewear on the company’s website along with a video showing how it can be used, and a brief message asking for feedback about the eyewear.

“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,” the designers wrote. “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.” The designers then asked for feedback from the site’s visitors indicating what features they would like to see in the Google Glasses.

The photos showed young men and women wearing a sleek, metallic-looking eyeglass frame with a small, transparent display screen mounted on one side, above eye level, but no lenses. The video, set in New York City, was shot from the viewpoint of a person wearing the glasses while navigating through city streets. Making use of augmented reality technology, the wearer accesses Google Maps and other information displayed on the screen, and then uses a built-in video camera to capture a scene and transmit it to a friend.

Industry observers say the Google Glasses could reach consumers by the end of the year.