Realtime feed of skydiver wearing Google Glass prototype in descent to Moscone Center in San Francisco, June 27, 2012. Source: Google
Google had fun at its latest I/O developer conference with a theatrical level performance including skydivers wearing Google’s electronic glasses streaming live realtime video as they descended from high above San Francisco. As they landed on top of Moscone Center they relayed their payload to awaiting mountaineers who repelled down the side of the building. The payload was quickly transferred to bicyclists who road through the auditorium to cheering fans and up onto the stage to an awaiting Sergey Brin (see video).
Latest Details on Project Glass
Nonetheless, the theatrics provided some new information including the announcement that the glasses will become a product next year, and prototypes (i.e. beta version) are now available for $1500 to well-heeled developers flourishing in the Google ecosystem.
With thousands of others, I just became an official backer on Kickstarter of the Pebble, a watch, really a wearable computing device that interfaces seamlessly, conveniently, and wirelessly with Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android OS phones.
Over the past two months I’ve written twice about wearable computing – coming from mainline firms, Nike (the FuelBand) and Google (Google glasses). Nike and Google are well-established elastic enterprises and benefit from the elasticity that they have built into their companies. Their wearable devices add new levels of engagement and options for their huge base of customers.
But Pebble Technology, the maker of Pebble, is a startup. It also has a noteworthy distinction: it raised over $1 Million dollars from supporters on Kickstarter in 28 hours – for a product that is not yet in production. But a snappy video and a low-key pitch inspired thousands to make an “investment.” The Pebble folks also smartly provided “investors” with various contribution options, from a minimum of $99 to a high of $10,000, but each level will receive 1 or more Pebble watches when they are produced sometime in the fall of 2012. Continue reading
It started as a rumor. It rippled through social networks. Then came stories by Nick Bilton at the New York Times in December 2011, Seth Weintrab at 9TO5 Google and most recently again from Nick Bilton in a follow-up article about testing prototypes of “Google Glasses.” And Steven Levy at Wired recounted some deep history and added perspective and background elements about the project, now known as Project Glass.
Google CEO, Larry Page Sports New Google Glasses
(Flickr / Thomas Hawk)
This much we know. According to many reports, an official demo video, and individuals who recently saw Larry Page wearing the glasses at a party, these high-tech glasses superimpose critical information and alerts as one interacts with the physical world, in realtime. They are essentially a heads-up display for daily life. And if it catches on and moves beyond geekdom, it could be a winner in the interface wars. And no matter how much you want it, whatever you see is a prototype, not yet a product for sale.
But Google’s Project Glass is about more than a new mobile or wearable device – it’s about what we call the vanishing point. Smartphones and tablets are only the first step on a journey to operationally merge the digital and physical worlds. Continue reading