NEW YORK – If you think texting while walking is dangerous, just wait until everyone starts wearing Google’s futuristic, Internet-connected glasses.
Directions to your destination appear literally before your eyes.
You can talk to friends over video chat, take a photo or even buy a few things online as you walk around. These glasses can do anything a smartphone or tablet computer does now – and then some.
Google gave a glimpse of Project Glass in a video and blog post this week. Still in an early prototype stage, the glasses open up endless possibilities – as well as challenges to safety, privacy and fashion sensibility.
The prototypes have a sleek wrap-around look and appear nothing like clunky 3-D glasses. But if Google isn’t careful, they could be dismissed as a kind of Bluetooth earpiece of the future, a fashion faux pas where bulky looks outweigh marginal utility.
In development for a couple of years, the project is the brainchild of Google
If it takes off, it could bring reality another step closer to science fiction, where the line between human and machine blurs.
My son is 4 years old and this is going to be his generation’s reality, said Guy Bailey, who works as a social media supervisor for Kennesaw State University outside Atlanta. He expects it might even be followed by body implants, so that in 10 years or so you’ll be able to get such a heads-up display inside your head.
At its best, the goal is to make your life easier by putting the tools now at your fingertips in front of your eyes.
There is a lot of data about the world that would be great if more people had access to as they are walking down the street, said Jason Tester, research director at the non-profit Institute For the Future in Palo Alto, Calif.
That said, once that information is not only at our fingertips but literally in our field of view, it may become too much.
Google posted the video and short blog post about Project Glass on Wednesday.