Wired has an article on the topic of Google Glass. I thought it good to add my own thoughts on this oddball technology.
Augmented Reality will be one of the greatest benefits of technology going forward. Imagine being able to look at something and immediately know what it is. Imagine looking at a person and having your computer tell you who they were and what their latest activities were. Even today, AR is benefiting us — pilots situational awareness is augmented by tale-tells on their HUD, and drivers are beginning to get that on their windscreens. AR may help address many of the shortfalls that make life difficult — limited field of view, restricted memory, information overload – assuming of course we can get it right.
Google’s entry into the AR field is Google Glass. I hesitate to call this AR, because of Google Glass’s particular implementation. It does have the cameras that allow it to recognize the world, and a mini-display you can see through, but that display is too small to really give true AR. Instead, it’s more of a HMD (Head-Mounted Display) that gives a tiny view into the world. True AR glasses would cover your entire field of vision, and allow you to project information across the entire view into the outside world. But maybe the reason Google didn’t go that route was because the hardware wasn’t there yet.
Glass, however, is not the right way to go either. The biggest issue, bigger than the ones listed above by far, is the price. $1500 is far too much for this tech to ever go mainstream. It needs to be 1/10th that price for it to be anything more than a novelty. Even full on VR goggles would be hard pressed to sell at anything more expensive than a flagship smartphone, and this really is not even in that ballpark.
Google needs to revamp their software to work across multiple devices, and rethink the $1500 micro-display. Unless and until they do, Glass remains a tech toy that will never take off.