People have justifiably wary of wearable computers and augmented reality, since their history doesn’t offer a stellar track record. Google Glass, on the other hand, has been captivating technology blogs and consumers since its inception, and I’m among the people very impressed. Eric Schmidt just broke the news that the digital specs will be available in a year or so.
“It would be fair to say that there’ll be thousands of these in use by developers over the next months. And then based on their feedback, we’ll make some product changes, and it’s probably a year-ish away.” Schmidt said during an interview with BBC Radio 4′s World at One on Monday.
The technology of Google’s augmented reality glasses includes a heads-up display, voice command, and photography. Developers started getting their hands on Glass last week.
Schmidt noted that with augmented reality, technology has immense potential for different applications.
“There are tremendous numbers of applications that can be imagined — augmented reality, where you see what’s going on in real-time, and then we annotate that. We say, ‘oh that’s this building,’ or ‘this is something that you’ve already done,’ or those sorts of things.”
Augmented reality has come a long way in the past few years, especially with the rise of more sophisticated mobile technology.
Interestingly, the Google chairman also discussed the need for a “new social etiquette” when it comes to privacy concerns brought about by something like Glass.
“It’s obviously not appropriate to wear these glasses in situations where recording is not correct. And indeed, you have this problem already with phones. Companies like Google have a very important responsibility to keep your information safe, but you have a responsibility as well, which is to understand what you’re doing, how you’re doing it, and behave appropriately and also keep everything up-to-date.”
Indeed, privacy and technology have often mixed like water and oil, especially when laws try to keep pace with rapidly improving technology. It remains to be seen how Schmidt will uphold this commitment, and what other organizations will do.
In the meantime, next year I’ll probably be spending more time wearing glasses.