Sure, pretty much anything Apple and Google do right now will create buzz. But link those two companies with the words “wearable augmented reality smartphone,” and people are bound to really take notice.
In an effort to (eventually) integrate your smartphone into your life even more, the companies are exploring augmented reality phones that serve as more of a “window on to your world”—not just a screen that you interact with.
At Google, researchers in the super-secret Google X labs have been working on developing devices that interact directly with Android smartphones, helping you to digitally immerse yourself into the world around you. According to 9To5Google, one project involves augmented reality glasses that would plug a user in to real-time search results that correspond to what he or she is viewing.
To me, this sounds like a natural step for the whole idea (and name) behind Google Goggles. In fact, Google may be hinting at this new wearable product with a recent blog announcement about a Google Goggles upgrade.
9To5Google claims the AR glasses would be unobtrusive, styled much like a pair of normal, thicker-rimmed glasses. They would include just a few buttons on the side that help the wearer “communicate with the cloud,” presumably through an Android device.
This blogger is skeptical about AR glasses ever being “unobtrusive.” I envision a jumble of Google search suggestions popping up every time I turn my head. I wonder how Google plans on giving the user enough control so he or she doesn’t get overwhelmed.
In the meantime, the New York Times Bits blog, reveals that Apple has been secretly working on a wearable computer that wound use Siri and fit on your write like an iPod Nano. It seems there are several different prototypes in the works; one of them was intriguingly described as a wrist-worn “curved-glass iPod.”