It was an unlikely concept to see achieved by the end of 2012, but it appears that people wanting to use Google’s innovative ‘Google Glass’ eyewear are set to enjoy another year-long wait, as the project has recently been reported as set for a release in 2014 instead of the previously-rumoured 2013, though the American search engine giant have confirmed that early versions of their augmented reality product (which is now running against a quickly-developing set of competitors) is set to be released to developers ‘early this year’.
Project head Babak Parviz claims that the glasses, which take the appearance of a glass panel above one eye, is set to include voice and touch technology by the time it is released, despite glasses having obvious limitations to some of those features.
Parviz claims that the product is likely to have a touchpad on the side to adjusting settings (presumably with a very simple interface considering that it is small and can’t be directly seen by the wearer), and the more likely implementation of taking phone calls with implanted speakers and microphones.
He noted of the plans to IEEE Spectrum: “We have… experimented a lot with using voice commands. We have full audio in and audio out, which is a nice, natural way of interacting with something that you’d wear and always have with you. We constantly try out new ideas of how this platform can be used. We’re also trying to make the platform more robust. This includes making the hardware more robust and the software more robust, so we can ship it to developers early this year. This is a complicated thing [making money from additional features such as on-screen commercials]. This is not a laptop or a smartphone. It’s an entirely new platform. So how people interact with it and what people do with it is totally new territory. We hope that when we ship this to developers, other people will also figure out what this very powerful platform is able to do.”
With the first concept revealed last year, Google are said to have been working mainly towards improving the product’s battery life ahead of any planned release, but as it takes on the guise more and more of a miniature smartphone in front of your eye, will Google Glass still be seen as the innovative augmented-reality item that people hope it can become?