By Stephen Schenck | February 6, 2012 5:30 PM
Current attempts at augmented reality systems have produced some impressive results with smartphones, and we can really only expect things to get better from here, as phones are able to crunch more and more data in real-time and provide us with more information than ever on the world around us. The one problem with this sort of augmented reality setup is that you’re still walking around holding your phone out in front of you; shouldn’t there be a more natural way to deliver this tech? Some rumors suggest that Google might be the company working on how to address that issue, with claims that it’s developing a pair of Android-powered glasses that puts an augmented reality experience right up against your eyes.
Heads-up displays have been a military and industry staple for years, and smartphone technology is only getting more capable as time goes on, so why not combine the two? The source behind this rumor says that Google’s created a prototype glasses-based system that uses head tilts to navigate through apps and menus. Supposedly, the display is mounted off to the side of one eye, instead of being a transparent overlay. As far as the hardware specs go, it’s supposed to be similar to the processing power of Android phones from a year or so ago.
Admittedly, this sounds very cool, but we have some serious doubts. While smartphones keep getting thinner and thinner, there’s a world of difference between the electrical engineering needed to design nice, flat circuits for phones and what would be needed to fit all that hardware into a glasses frame. When you tack-on the need for a battery, the situation gets even more complicated. We’ll keep an open mind in the hopes some evidence of this device emerges, but it sounds like one very difficult idea to turn into a commercially-viable product. According to the source, Google may be planning to start testing the glasses out in the real world soon.