Do we really need digitally enhanced Google glasses?
This parody video imagines ads that could show up on Google's digital glasses.
April 5th, 2012
11:41 AM ET

Do we really need digitally enhanced Google glasses?

By John D. Sutter, CNN

(CNN) - Google on Wednesday unveiled something really future-y: Glasses that display digital info on top of the real world.

The prototype glasses project all kinds of information - walking directions, instant messages, phone calls, weather info, calendar reminders and the location of your friends - on the world all around you.

That probably sounds pretty bizarre. So, first, check out Google's vision of how this will look:

And then you really must watch this parody video, from Tom Scott. In it, he imagines all of the pitfalls of this information-is-floating-all-around-you future. Namely, it might make you run into things and send accidental messages:

Here's another dystopian view of Google's "Terminator" glasses - one in which ads appear everywhere (via The Atlantic):

What do you think? Is this something you would want to buy? Or is it an example of a tech company trying to push an idea that doesn't (yet) have popular support?

For balance, here's how The Week describes the benefits of this augmented reality tech:

The applications could be endless: putting on your glasses in the morning as you eat breakfast, your map tells you there is heavy traffic on the route to work. On the drive to the office you pass a Starbucks and a Special Offer on coffee pops up on your screen. In the office, you frame people in your screen and Google+ them to see their profiles. All the while the earphones pipe through your favourite music, only pausing to allow a steady stream of phone calls, targeted adverts and sponsored messages.

And here's what Scott, creator of that first video where people keep falling down, said about the technology in an e-mail conversation with me:

The Google Glass project looks absolutely amazing. I've wanted something like it for ages  – the “names and faces” part of my brain has never really worked properly, so I’d happily outsource that to face recognition software! There's a long way to go between what we've got now, and what's seen in the mock-up video, though.

As for what prompted me to make it: I saw an easy joke that no-one else had done yet! There's rarely a deeper meaning to the things I put together; and besides, people walking into poles is always funny.

Tell us what you think in the comments.

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Filed under: Design • Fashion • Future • Innovation • Internet • Tech
soundoff (337 Responses)
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  12. Roberto Ibarra

    Could these adjust to people who have eye sight problems? That would be very great ^_^ or binocular style capabilities. Could help with hunting

    July 11, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Reply
  13. Sean

    Of course we don't really *need* Google glasses. We also don't really *need* TV, soda, fast food, DVDs, sports, etc. ...

    July 9, 2012 at 12:47 am | Reply
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  17. JC

    So now our entire lives can see like an episode of Pop Up Video. Hurray!

    April 11, 2012 at 11:25 am | Reply
  18. TheSchmaltz

    Every great innovation in history was surrounded by a crowd of people saying "Do we really need this?" Progress only comes about when we ignore these people.

    April 11, 2012 at 9:22 am | Reply
    • LiqMat

      This remark right here is the truth.

      April 11, 2012 at 10:22 am | Reply
    • James vond

      Great innovation like the Segway?

      April 11, 2012 at 11:10 am | Reply
  19. terri

    So now with Google glasses we have the potential for extreme noise pollution. Instead of people talking endlessly on cell phones, they will be talking endlessly to themselves in order to interact with the glasses. The parody film should have included the glasses responding while others (in range) are speaking.....How about a mosh Google attack, where others overwhelm an individual's glasses with commands, thereby drowning out the one command the user wants to give?

    April 11, 2012 at 3:11 am | Reply
  20. kikigos

    I thought these were pretty cool when I saw them presented at a tech show a couple of years back. Now I'm just wondering if Mr. Magoo was surfing the wave of the future.

    April 10, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Reply
    • Oscar Pitchfork

      "Magoo-You've done it again!"...

      April 11, 2012 at 8:49 am | Reply
  21. cautiously approving

    1. Ive never been in this warehouse store before, but I need 3 items. how can I collect them the quickest way and get out of here?

    2. This tropical botanic garden is pretty interesting, nice thing the QR codes are on posts next to the plants, so I can read about any item as I look at it.

    3. My transit authority wants to deploy intelligent, multilingual signage at every stop, but its just impractical. Oh.

    4. I bookmarked that 2 minute video of how to make that recipe just so in the moment I feel like doing it, I can really make use of that info without having to go find the clip in a collection, or handle my phone/tablet with hands covered in olive oil. Ditto access for all bits of info that 'spoke to me'... I don't necessarily need 50 search hits to wade through when I finally get to that historic site. I *do* however, really want to see again that one or two bits of info that I took the time to vet in the past, and I knew would be useful in the right moment.

    5. Thanks for reminding me I've already looked at this prescription lid today. I forgot I already took my dose!

    5.

    April 10, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Reply
    • Sweeti

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      April 30, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Reply
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  22. Schizoid

    I, for one, want one of these, I am tired of finding random people in the street that greet me but I just can remeber who are. All as long it is made by other independent company, I don´t want to see millions ads in all the content google would provide me.

    April 10, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Reply
  23. I3atman

    1) Anyone wearing them will be so distracted that the glasses will be stolen from right off their face!
    2) People are idiots and will try to wear this crap while driving = death
    3) I'm going to run around the city and punch EVERYONE who has one and break it....run away laughing! BWAHAHAA.....I'm Batman

    April 10, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Reply
    • Hanz

      Bring it on bud... that'll be the last thing you do with your hands for several months.

      April 16, 2012 at 8:51 am | Reply
      • Victor

        I see a challenge. Accepted.

        May 14, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  24. PEDO BEAR

    Google is THE MATRIX!
    And Apple is the Kool-Aid!

    April 10, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Reply
  25. Chris Weiss

    The first time someone walks into traffic or in front of a train while reading a prompt, I predict a lawsuit that brings this product to an end.

    I can't think of a more life threatening distracting than prompts popping up in my field of vision while walking around traffic, train tracks, etc.

    April 10, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Reply
  26. Peltonin

    Why can't they just implant electrodes directly in my brain right now so that I can get all the information on the web directly into my frontal cortex? Better yet, why can't they just remove my brain and put in a jar with the electrodes, since with the internet, doing things or interacting with the physical world is no longer necessary. Does anyone else think that the more technology opens up the world to us, the more bland and banal our lives are become?

    April 10, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Reply
  27. jdoe

    This is just an interim step. Soon people won't even need to go anywhere. They just lie in one place and are fed intravenously, and have reality brought to them via 3D projector glasses. Unnecessary organs and limbs have already been removed in early infancy.

    April 10, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Reply
  28. Victor

    To all of you who say Google is evil: Really? They have pioneered so much new tech. Take their newest thing, Google Play, for example. It lets you have your Android games wherever you are, whether it be on a computer or a Android device.

    April 10, 2012 at 9:52 am | Reply
    • OFortuna

      In time, they all turn evil. This trend is hastened with having publicly-traded stock.

      April 10, 2012 at 10:08 am | Reply
    • Flam

      While you are talking about games I think you forgot the time google got busted driving around stealing peoples data from wifi connections all over town and storing it all on their google mobile. Then, when a company smart enough to create google search, world maps, and google glass says "oops, it was a mistake, we didn't know we were collecting the data"... Yeah, I'd call that evil. But as long as they have you talking about games all is well..

      April 10, 2012 at 11:22 am | Reply
      • Victor

        I used Play only because it was the newest. Gow about Google Docs (Soon to become Google Drive)? Editing slideshows, papers, and charts in real-time with others is a great ability. Remember when you had to attach it to an e-mail, then send it. Eventually there would be 15 copies, each one being unique. Docs allows an easier process to take place.

        May 14, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  29. iceload9

    Just another opportunity for adds.

    April 10, 2012 at 9:32 am | Reply
  30. erich2112x

    In the not so distant future, we'll have done away completely with video monitors, and we'll all be walking around swatting and typing in what will seem like thin air to others, but to the user, a full computer screen. The on-off button will be purched comfortably on your right or left shoulder.

    April 10, 2012 at 9:32 am | Reply
    • Flam

      "google wake".. New contact lenses with adrenaline injectors built in that go straight to the brain for a heavy workday. 50 thousand people walking down the street blinking and convulsing, but makin a ton of cash..

      April 10, 2012 at 11:26 am | Reply
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      April 30, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Reply
  31. OFortuna

    Go Google! Get those patents locked in now so that you'll have that leverage needed to sue everyone else.

    April 10, 2012 at 9:30 am | Reply
    • Tieklu

      ok so stop crying about 3d! grow up make money and make your pc 3d with nidvia gtx 300 graphic card and a full 3d ready monitor up to 22 omg i cant get anymore of the crap videos showing foolish hopes of home 3d use! get a life ppl 3d still in progress! to have a home 3d experience just buy the things that were mentioned omg!

      May 2, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Reply
      • Rangler

        A mnitue saved is a minute earned, and this saved hours!

        April 9, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
  32. cdubbs

    Innovation... What happened to it? Really Google, let's get it together and create something that's worth our time. We don't need another social networking site, there are plenty. We don't need glasses that will become a distraction and, not to mention, just plain strange. Think a little harder. Go a little deeper. I'm not a Google hater but, recently, I have been a little disappointed.

    April 10, 2012 at 7:05 am | Reply
  33. headline4edu

    Oh great from phone zombies to glasses zombies.

    A Demented Reality is more like it.

    April 10, 2012 at 5:32 am | Reply
  34. KevinT

    How about them inventing glasses that could allow the blind to see instead?

    April 10, 2012 at 3:40 am | Reply
    • jdoe

      There's not much money in that compared to selling ads.

      April 10, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Reply
    • Yamil

      Society is headed in the wrong direction, as we progress in technology humans are becoming more primitives, soon it will be like a world of robots, I mean i can see it everyday, people don;t interact face to face with friends and family, I see lots of people everyday don;t use common sense, everything they do is rely on the internet. Also I dont know why now every tech device have a button to SHARE with your friends, its disturbing people dont have privacy anymore. Iam pretty dissapointed, why they dont spend that money investing in research for cures of malicius diseases, you know why because they only care about Money.

      April 11, 2012 at 9:43 am | Reply
  35. LV

    This is, by far, the biggest po(n opportunity in history.

    April 9, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Reply
  36. pottermaine

    Thanks. More distracted driving. Just what the world needs.

    April 9, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Reply
  37. JStymie

    The logic in this article is very poor. Do you think cars should not have been invented before there was a full interstate system, or that they could get 30+mpg or top 100mph? Maybe the public internet shouldn't have been invented because not everyone had computers (or were skilled at using them). Maybe home internet connections should never have begun since there wasn't broadband at the start.

    We'd never go anywhere if innovative companies decided not to work on new projects because they weren't in high demand before they were ever even publicly available.

    April 9, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Reply
  38. JackLM

    No, it's not needed – and neither is an iPod, an iPad, or even an iPhone or other such things. But since when was America about buying stuff of need? The USA is the world's largest consumer culture, and that consists largely of "keeping up with the Jones'" wants that are entirely unnecessary.

    April 9, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Reply
    • Pro

      i concur

      April 10, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Reply
  39. jonavark

    Google has too much money and I wouldn't trust them any farther than I could throw them.. That said.. this 'invention' .. or re-invention is just dumb as sht.

    April 9, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Reply
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  40. Jaxitty

    Imagine if something like this incorporated cell phone and tablet tech? To me it seems less like a gimic and more like the next step in that type of technology, but like all distracting tech, it needs to be used wisely. I doubt it wold give birth to the next generation of clutzes, but consider how smart phones do the same thing, distract the hell out of you while you should be paying attention. I look forward to this sort of innovation.

    April 9, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Reply
  41. Shuffler

    I rarely use anything google now.

    April 9, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Reply
    • db

      Wow that's good to know.

      April 10, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Reply
  42. Andrew N

    It'd be great if I can control what goes on it. For example, NO ADS, but I want:
    1) Facial recognition (their name, and last place we met).
    2) Grocery shopping/calculation, which of these has ingredients that I don't like (or I'm allergic to)? Is the jumbo size of brand X a better deal than the large size of brand Y?
    3) Video games. Not just combat games, but flight simulators and strategy games (imagine your mentors standing to your left and right when you turn your head to ask for advice)
    4) Travel. International travel, translating street signs and menus. The history of buildings and bridges that you walk by. Local travel, you can "see" 5 miles down the road and decide if it's worth waiting for the next bus, or walking.

    That's all. I usually prefer the serendipity of finding random new places and chatting in person.

    April 9, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Reply
  43. Save Us Jeebus!

    This is all I need – pop-up adds and stupid facebook posts popping up in my vision all day. Ugh. No thanks. Just because we can do something, doesn't necessarily mean we should.

    April 9, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Reply
    • Rick

      You went from, 'I' to 'we' too quickly! Just because you feel a certain way, does not mean the rest must follow.

      April 9, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Reply
      • Flam

        Rick. So what you are saying is you actually want to have a ton of ads popping up all over your face? Is that your point?

        April 10, 2012 at 11:28 am |
  44. Badly-Bent

    Here's a heads-up on a new Head's-Up display!

    April 9, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Reply
  45. Barry

    A really stupid idea. It will train your brain to freely accept input from whomever is providing content and programming and to erode over time the ability to determine one's own course of action. In essence, it would result in many under a centralized mind control. A very bad idea. Look how many people are so easily beguiled by Fox News and other mind control networks. You want Zombies? Well this is the path to them. Go ahead, have fun. I'd love to bring charges to the person who hits my car when distracted by all of the content on their eyeglasses view screens. If you think cell phones are bad, you haven't seen anything. Just another horrible idea from a self-glorified search engine company that lies about doing "good".

    April 9, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Reply
    • Rick

      I am with you, Barry! I have been to the Fox News website and they are all about mind control! Since reading CNN, I have discovered the truth! I am a racist! I had no idea that being white meant that I was a racist, until I came here!

      April 9, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Reply
      • Save Us Jeebus!

        See...the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.

        April 9, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
      • Josh

        You're a racist because you're a racist...

        April 9, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
      • Rick

        Good one Josh! What a maroon!

        April 9, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
      • fmcv

        Hahaha, love your response to Barry's "Mind control networks"...what an idiot

        April 10, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
  46. mydistortedview

    GM had a projector thing like this in some of there cars,displayed speed fuel etc on the windshield/screen.Of course this was really just mirroring what was on the LCD gauges. I think it's a wonderful idea, and if it was as cheap as a smart phone or a smart phone add on like a bluetooth headset ( I think it will be) it would be fantastic. I share the concern of the above poster,data caps are going to be an issue. The smart phone providers need to reinvest some of that fat profit, in to scaling up the networks.Takes money to make money. The more this bandwidth data capping becomes common they will be forced, or face huge losses.

    April 9, 2012 at 9:53 am | Reply
  47. Satan

    Do we need Google Glasses? Short answer: HELL YES!!! Awesome idea, even if it never goes to market, it proves that Google employs the smartest people in Silicon Valley...and some of the smartest in the entire world, which I think is pretty cool.

    April 9, 2012 at 9:46 am | Reply
    • Chris R

      How would them making it prove them to be the smartest people in the world? The concept, in and of itself, is not unique to them. It's be a science fiction staple for decades. Glasses with video displays aren't unique either. People have been toying around with that for at least a decade now. If they can pull off something like this that would be a really awesome feat of engineering but 'smartest people in the world'? Not so much.

      April 9, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Reply
    • Dark Angel Azrael

      I toltally agree with you. The genius of our tech minions knows no equal. Soon all of our brain-slaves will be connected to the "social" network like never before.

      April 10, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Reply
  48. Grace

    Oh ick. I have no desire to be a walking computer with data streams running all around my head. I want to be a person walking around and living in the real world and experiencing it without all that crap and figuring some things out for myself. Can't we even figure out where Starbucks is by ourselves? Just look, there's one on the next corner! See how easy that was?I think we've reached saturation on data, and this thing will make us feel even more insane and fragmented by technology than we already are...and many of us are already at the point of wanting to check out of some of it even now.

    April 9, 2012 at 9:19 am | Reply
    • Jeremy

      I'm with you, Grace. I believe we've lost a lot of what it means to be simply human and interact with our world and the people in it.

      April 9, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Reply
    • Yamil

      I agree with you 100%, at the rate this is going people will suffer from brain dis-functionality simply because they dont use it anymore! That's is one of the reasons you see young kids not paying attention in school because they think all the information they need is already done

      April 11, 2012 at 9:54 am | Reply
  49. David W

    Do we NEED this? Certainly not. But this is awesome looking device that i would love to have. It would be great just for personal use, but also in the business world, access to maps to get the jobsites/clients homes. Information to help you get to place faster and more efficiently, Seamlessly able to contact people as need, just so many things that it could do, i'm personally looking forward to something like this!

    April 9, 2012 at 8:19 am | Reply
  50. Miles Trevonne

    Ok i hate to be "that" guy, but the money we spend on "want" could feed everybody in the world "needs" . so of course we don't need it. but we still want it!!!

    April 9, 2012 at 6:26 am | Reply
  51. Kynt

    Need? Did we *need* iPads? Yet they're selling millions. This isn't about need. Hasn't been for a long time.

    April 9, 2012 at 4:49 am | Reply
  52. Cortanis

    Sounds to me like they'd be more of a distraction while trying to do simple things than anything else. Also to note is focusing issues as well. Bad eye sight runs heavily in my family and especually varies from one eye to the other. Care to deal with that issue google?

    April 9, 2012 at 2:23 am | Reply
  53. james k, schwartz

    a rip off of at least 3 of http://www.vrealities.com item's, includeinging, but not limited tothe i-port found at http://vrealities.com/i-port.html or the eyetop centra found at http://vrealities.com/eyetopcentra.html or the sunvisor found at http://vrealities.com/sunvisor.html

    April 9, 2012 at 2:19 am | Reply
  54. Jeff

    I much rather have a smart phone strapped to my arm in place of a watch. It's so obvious, I can't believe we don't have them already.

    April 9, 2012 at 2:12 am | Reply
    • Dan

      Exactly. We should all be issued a Pipboy at age 10.

      April 9, 2012 at 7:59 am | Reply
    • Grace

      Actually that makes a lot more sense and seems more manageable.

      April 9, 2012 at 9:21 am | Reply
  55. Timjacks

    This will never become mainstream.

    Not because I don't think its cool. Or evil.

    The current data caps placed upon the population by greedy corporations will slow the advancement of technology.

    I know this isn't a data cap story, but I do think that data caps will affect this device in the future.
    It has already started with the Ipad3.

    The only way they can make it mainstream is if they somehow lower the resolution so much inside the headset that it will use less data.

    April 9, 2012 at 12:28 am | Reply
  56. Vivian Bradley

    Are they nuts? The same morons who drive down the freeways texting and staring at their GPS screens will be the first to use these. Don't even try to tell me that having laws about these things will stop people from using them while driving.

    April 8, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Reply
    • Galgamoth

      seems a lot safer than staring at your crotch, besides military pilots have been using head up displays for years.

      April 10, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Reply
      • Groo

        Yes but military HUDs don't tell pilots where the nearest Starbucks is and let them talk to their buddies who randomly pop up on the screen about what they're going to be doing Friday night. These glasses are going to cause a lot of headache if they ever catch on.

        April 10, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
      • Jim

        Military pilots have a very high level of training. The average person was taught to drive by a high school teacher making extra money by teaching drivers ed. Not to mention flying and driving are two completely different things. Pilots aren't surrounded by hundreds of aircraft separated by only a few feet from each other, and don't have to worry about pedestrians walking in front of them. They also don't have to make constant stops at intersections, worry about slippery roads, and any other sudden hazards that require a sudden stop.

        April 10, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
      • Angie

        Yes, because your body reriuqes water to carry out metabolism and for many other functions. So, it comes to no surprise why you would be losing weight, because the body is able to carry out more metabolic functions than before.Coffee doesn't count because caffeine is a diuretic, meaning, it takes water out. So, it actually makes you more dehydrated which you don't want. Same goes for soda. Also, just a heads up, decaf still has caffeine in it, very small amount, but it's still there.

        October 22, 2012 at 9:53 am |
  57. Ed Wong

    I doubt it'll work that well, and even if it did, that is just such an invasion of my, well, being! I love gadgets, but you know, it's one thing to pull it out of your pockets only when you want it and then toss it in your bag afterwards, and another to have it mounted on your face. The worst I've done is wear one of those bluetooth headsets, and even then, it's just for safety, when I'm driving, or if I'm at work and typing and need to type at the same time. I take it off as soon as I can, along with my suit and tie. The idea that someone will wake up with this on, and when he's walking around, or having a romantic time with his girl, is just wrong. I can see maybe someone using this at work for certain jobs, like having a second computer screen for reference everywhere you go, but not like this guy; it's just so wrong and unnatural. It's an invasion and a perversion the way it's represented. Just grotesque. I mean, why not have a catheter stuck up his dong at the same time so that it can also run tests on his urine, and send it to the medical lab every day to monitor his blood sugar? Wouldn't that be more useful? Oops, maybe I'd better patent that one and sell it to Google, muah ha hahhhh!!!

    April 8, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Reply
  58. milk

    This is FANTASTIC in my opinion. TEchnology is advancing at such a pace it is hard to keep up. This hardware will revolutionize our world soon, i mean i cant wait to have doctors wear glasses and perform checkups on us (liike the star trek medic pad) . I mean many say technology is overshadowing our freedom, but people you have to remeber all in moderation. Technology is only a tool its us humans who give it importance. So if you think facebook is all around you, that's cause you are on it too long.

    April 8, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Reply
    • fmcv

      Nicely put!

      April 10, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Reply
      • Tomoko

        Dear Mari,Thank you for sharing from your heart and your soulThe lives you will touch with these words still uwkonnn, still untoldAs parents we give everything we have and moreHoping the tools, the support, the love will be enough as they walk to or out that doorNo matter the path that this loved son will take, even if at home where he knows it is safeYour love, your wisdom, and authentic waysIs helping him each and every dayFrom one Mom to another, your Awesome!

        September 25, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
  59. nav

    did we need the ipad, iphone, ipod. no theyre cool

    April 8, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Reply
    • Satan

      None of those devices are cool...nor are they functional. They are nothing more than app launchers. They're great for the technically illiterate (you know the types, I'm sure...they're the ones who complain about technology constantly and don't even know how to run functions or macros in MS Excel or Word even though MS Office has been around since the dinosaurs). I'm just saying. Google got into the smartphone game late when they introduced Android, yet it's already the #1 platform (by a LOONNNNGGGG way) in the WORLD. Apple's market share doesn't even come close by comparison, actually. Apple needs to adapt or die, but in 5 years, unless Apple does something absolutely groundbreaking, iPhones/iPads/iPods won't even exist. They'll be collectors items. Guaranteed.

      April 9, 2012 at 9:55 am | Reply
  60. Roy

    As a person who works with service & parts manuals constantly, I think it would be great to have them displayed to me in this manner.

    April 8, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Reply
  61. Zoe79

    I'm a college professor and teacher of media. The vast majority of my students feel "trapped" by this technological society rather than liberated by it, in their own words. We are shifting more and more to an artificial life that doesn't serve younger generations and simply serves to distract us further, emphasizing a material and superficial culture, while studies have shown that our empathy has decreased. What price are we paying for all these new "toys"? Google is invasive enough in privacy matters, I can't imagine a world where now we have to wear Google glasses and avoid paying attention to the people around us even more. There are pros to technology, but there are also cons, we need to maintain a realistic perspective of both of these when deciding what to allow into our homes and lives.

    April 8, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Reply
    • Steve

      People have been avoiding connection and increasingly we can see how people are leaning toward a virtual reality where there is less accountability for their actions. This goes along with my thoughts that ethics and philosophy have not advanced as fast as science. Hopefully there will come a balance of the technology and humanity, though I am not optimistic.

      April 8, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Reply
    • dave836

      I live in Colorado and me and my buddies turn off all our electronic devices and go up into the mountains to camp for a weekend all the time. It's amazing how relaxing it is to not rely on electrical devices for a weekend...

      April 8, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Reply
      • Belinda

        Another Coloradan here. Totally Agree! My buddies and I would much rather ride our bicycles in the mountains or go camping and hiking. The only time I ever felt disconnected w/o technology was when I went over a cliff on my bicycle. However, up on Mt. Evans, I doubt I'd have had cell service even if I hadn't been too injured to reach my phone. What do I use it for? Emergencies, work (and NOT at home), travel. That's how it ought to be.

        April 8, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
      • Satan

        You wouldn't be able to make a call, but it will always be sending/receiving GPS data (unless you turn it off). Satellites don't need relay towers...so, hypothetically speaking, if you were in the middle of the wilderness with no connection to the outside world (and assuming there was at LEAST 1 person who cared about you) they would be able to find you almost instantly by tapping into GPS upon being notified that you were missing. I know for a fact that it's possible because the military does it all the time. Just saying. But when I go to Colorado or northern Minnesota, I never bring a phone. If something happens to me, I won't need to be rescued. I'd rather die out there where we're supposed to die than in a hospital.

        April 9, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • Satan

      I agree that online universities are garbage and the quality of education you get in an all-online environment is horrific. Learning comes from interacting with other people, online education (yes, even Skyping) will never, EVER replace that. It's impossible. So yes, technology IS making many people more stupid. However, people need to know how to control themselves. The argument that people are "addicted" to technology is BS. I love technology, but even I have conditioned myself to turn it off and read a book (not an e-book!) often. Technology doesn't control my life, I harness technology to make my life easier. For too many people they simply cannot function on a daily basis without being connected, but it's because they choose to let that be the case. No one is addicted to technology.

      April 9, 2012 at 10:01 am | Reply
      • Apollonius

        Satan mixes his lies with the truth....

        April 10, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  62. NotGeorge Carlin

    Just what we need, more CR@P.

    April 8, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Reply
    • Claudia

      no, unfortunately the ceffoe does not count lol but that would be nice!!! drinkning 8 galsses of water a day is healthy and helps to remove antioxidants from your body and when racticed with a good excersice and diet plan you will def. lose weight. If you drink a tall glass before each meal, maybe 15-20 minutes before, youwill eat less as your body already has a sense of being partially full. Good luck and I hope this helps.

      October 22, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Reply
  63. matt

    Saw somthing similar in back to the future 2

    April 8, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Reply
  64. Ruggero

    Did we really need cell phones?

    April 8, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Reply
    • MATT FERRARA

      Of course we do. What else could distract drivers as well as a cell phone?

      April 8, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Reply
    • dave836

      This isn't even close to cell phones...

      April 8, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Reply
    • Sarai

      By :Tax Credit End Portends Price Decreases AlreadyArticle in part: The expiration of the ciredt could be prompting home sellers to slash prices: 22% of listings on the market as of May 1 experienced at least one price reduction that's a 10% increase from the previous month, according to data from Trulia.com . WOW!!! A 10% increase?? As in last month it was 20% and this month it's 22%?!?!?!

      July 21, 2012 at 1:23 am | Reply
  65. RobH434

    I openly welcome the improvements that technology will have in our daily lives. You cannot argue the demand for these type of advances if you simply look at the evolution of the smartphone. The biggest issue with the smart phone is the interface to the human body. The screen is too small, you have to look away from what you are doing to use it, typing is tedious, and voice recognition is still spotty at best. Even with these limitations, they are wildly popular.

    Take all of these things and add the glasses interface and voice recognition that works well and you have a fully immersive hybrid-virtual reality. In 20 years, a direct neural implant and thought interpretation system might make the external "hardware" unnecessary.

    You're still going to need a pop-up blocker though... :)

    April 8, 2012 at 10:06 am | Reply
  66. refab777

    On the surface these augmented reality glasses look very cool. But my hunch is that this is a "concept video" and that no such device actually exists that could operate as illustrated. But technical hurdles aside (eventually the bugs will be worked out) one has to question the effects this type of technology would have on our society if it was deployed widely. And would these effects be desirable? Like nuclear bombs, just because they are cool does not mean that we should make and widely distribute them.

    So while Google pushes this concept showing only the glamorous side to things, on the social engineering aspects all I am hearing is the sound of crickets. It seems irresponsible to push such game changing technology without publishing a serious "Social Aspects" paper.

    My concern is that we are being dumbed down and turned into Internet appliances. Online 24×7. Completely dependent on "the system" to even (as shown in the video) navigate the shelves of a store.

    With simpler technologies, like social networking, we have the phenomenon of "Facebook Narcissism" where people fall in love with their on-line persona. Rather than making genuine improvements to themselves they improve their on-line image. Effectively spinning their tires and going nowhere on the path of personal development. This side effect does not serve society as a whole.

    To illustrate my point consider that my great great grandfather (born in the 1880s) could go into the forest with just a back-pack and live for a couple of weeks. He could navigate, find food, shelter, and comfort. He did not have a GPS or a smartphone. All the knowledge he needed was in his head. All the tools he needed were in his backpack – and none of them required batteries. Compare that to the guy in the video who needs help finding a book in a store. Which guy would you rather be?

    Your brain is like any other part of your body. Unused it will atrophy. The wide use of GPS receivers, is in my opinion, causing the navigation part of our brains to get all rusty from lack of use. Sure they great on a boat or in a foreign land. But in your home city there should be no need.

    Once we are all hooked into "the system" to the degree needed to support augmented reality systems, we give enormous power to the "system keepers". Are they accountable to society? Do they have society's best interest at heart or are they looking to jam more ads into our eyeballs – social side effects be dammed?

    April 8, 2012 at 9:16 am | Reply
    • Johan S

      Every technology that man has invented, from the first guy who burned himself with fire, has potential for misuse. However that doesn't mean it should be restricted. Technology like this has many many uses. GPS may have prevent a lot of people getting lost in bad neighborhoods. Remember the stories in the 90s of people and tourists being killed after the got lost in a bad part of town? In your grandfathers time, a lot of otherwise intelligent and useful people used to get lost in the woods and die. Just because they are a bad navigator doesn't mean they are a bad doctor or carpenter. This technology will prevent a of mishaps and yes it will be misused and over-depended on .. but that issue can be tackled a different way than outright banning the technology because some people will act irresponsibly with it. If your grandfather was out in the woods I'm sure he would have loved to have something like this which would help him identify some of the plants and critters out there.

      April 8, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Reply
      • refab777

        My great grandfather was a hunting guide. He was famous for going into the forest every summer for two to three weeks by himself. He would leave the house with just a backpack. So you have to wonder what would have been in that backpack and I can tell you it was tools and clothing. The hi-tech items would have been a compass and matches. But what you have to consider is that it is impossible to carry the water, let alone the food, needed to live for 3 weeks on your back.

        This is very profound: he found drinking water and food along the way in the forest. He may not have known the scientific names of the plants and animals but far more importantly he know which ones to eat and which plants grew near springs that could be drunk. This a serious body of knowledge as if you eat the wrong thing or drink the wrong water you will become very ill or possibly die. This is in stark comparison to the guy in the video who cannot find his way around a bookstore without the help of big brother.

        As for navigating, I would beg to differ, people back in those days did not die wondering around the forest trying to find their way home. If you were lost the protocol was to stay put. The village would send out a search party with dogs and they would find you. There is only one story from my great grandfather's village which involved two small children that were caught in a blizzard. They were not found until spring because they were frozen and covered in snow. So I would propose that the human brain is a very capable navigator when it is used and exercised. However in our times, paired up with a GPS, that part of brain goes all moldy.

        The creepy aspect of these Google glasses is that (in the video) they are being used for everyday tasks. This will, in my opinion, make the brain atrophy from lack of use. Google's theme seems to be buy, buy, and then buy some more with ads popping up everywhere and elevator music playing the background. So I have to question the motives behind this technology as being primarily good for Google.

        If, on the other hand, the video featured somebody putting these glasses on and suddenly being able to repair a car or fix the plumbing or read a book in another language or otherwise access a body of knowledge that they did not posses then I would be inclined to conclude that the motivation behind the technology to be more altruistic.

        And by the way Google did not invent augmented reality. It has been around for at least 15 years, though never so slickly presented. Just go through the IEEE archives if you wish to learn more.

        April 10, 2012 at 9:44 am |
  67. Tom

    I'll wait 10 years for the contact lens version.

    April 8, 2012 at 8:57 am | Reply
  68. gren

    Good for Google for spending their own millions researching ideas that some day, in some form. will find great applications. Sure, maybe not as it is envisioned today in Google's video prototype, but in some way, some how. Does anyone seriously doubt that wearable computer enhanced headgear has a future? We claim to be welcoming to innovation, yet when something isn't "cool" yet, many will line up to criticize. We are so desperate to feel smarter than others that we resort to calling innovators, "fools." Give the scientists space, let them try. And be thankful. Or if you have a better idea, which you very well might have, be constructive and talk about that instead.

    April 8, 2012 at 8:42 am | Reply
  69. Philip

    Firstly the glasses are totally logical, the eyes, ears, mouth are all adjacent so frees up the hands. but the really mind boggling aspect of these is the applications that can flow. Think of a Doctor examining a patient and being able to call up images or a strange rash of be able to send a image to a databank, or access prescription details, or a lawyer being able to check the text of a law, a engineer check against a work manual. If these glasses can be made to work I can guarantee they will become as common to us in our daily work as a biro or a computer. Who knows even the President and Mrs Palin could get a pair each eliminating the need for prompters and the need to write notes on her hand. What you are looking at is truly a game-changer.

    April 8, 2012 at 7:46 am | Reply
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    • FactChecker

      Let's face it - The uses for these glasses will be advertisements, more advertisements, other advertisements, political advertisements, etc. etc. etc.

      April 8, 2012 at 7:00 am | Reply
  71. Kang

    There is simply no need for this device in the world today. It is entirely superfluous and there is absolutely no market for it. No-one will want it and no-one will buy it. Right up until the moment that Apple announces an i-version of this thing, then suddenly people will be queuing up around the block to get one and every tech site and fanboi in the bloggosphere will be raving about how it's completely revolutionised the world and how they can't imagine life without their iGlasses.

    April 8, 2012 at 6:08 am | Reply
    • Bianca

      Waaaaay to rationalize our chcoeis in life! Too bad we tend to choose to avoid communicating how we really feel. Had we just done so, we MIGHT have achieved greater mutual understanding with those we have issues with, sooner, rather than later.

      August 19, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Reply
  72. Andrew Chuang

    I think this is merely a mockup video, as the writer said. And I wonder how can the user sharing their video image when skype with their friends?

    April 8, 2012 at 5:36 am | Reply
  73. CarAccidentsGalore

    Google glasses should only be worn by operators of self-driving vehicles. Because they will cause distractions while driving a manually-operated vehicle.

    April 8, 2012 at 4:24 am | Reply
  74. Steve Cortez

    Considering the controversy over whether holding a cel phone to your ear may damage your health, I can readily imagine the controversy that will arise over clamping these glasses around your brain.

    April 8, 2012 at 1:52 am | Reply
  75. bill

    last time I checked you cant focus on something an inch from your eye....as they going to project the images 8 inches in front of us or something? This is pretty sci-fi until someone figures out that major technicality.

    April 8, 2012 at 12:59 am | Reply
    • Kang

      Yeah, you haven't checked for a while, huh? They've been able to focus images to infinity, right in front of your eye, for quite a few years now.

      April 8, 2012 at 6:04 am | Reply
      • FactChecker

        I agree. In fact they have to focus at infinity so that your eyes aren't constantly re-focusing, which would cause a headach in a few minutes.

        April 8, 2012 at 7:02 am |
  76. shawnthekid

    check out shawnthekid.blogspot.com

    April 8, 2012 at 12:47 am | Reply
  77. schreck25

    yeah, its on the minds on many. Seeing the beginning is great, hopefully it will grow quickly. So many uses especially if the glass' could take in reality and alter it to make it look a different color or to make affects that look real. Now when you retire in a old folks home you get to wear a pair of these and you are in the bahamas everyday. :)
    i would love to be in a thinktank on this device...

    April 7, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Reply
  78. Mike

    Want is the key Word, as the other comments said. Could this come in handy for the person on the move,busy all day. YES.
    Could it be returned to the store after a couple days because the buyer is bored with it since his phone does most of whats needed. Yes. Is it cool and shows whats ahead in part, of our digital world with voice and face augmentations.YES!

    April 7, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Reply
  79. SatelliteSteve

    Marcus: You summed it up well with the difference between need to or have to. Now if Google could invent a pair of glasses that change from nearsighted to farsighted and everywhere inbetween, oh and throw in dual gradient tints for outside then I would look twice. I still live in the real world where nobody takes my time up talking about nothing. I enjoy the quiet life...but I enjoy seeing where I'm walking more LOL!

    April 7, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Reply
    • shawn

      Thank you, that's what I wanted to say in a nice way. :)

      April 8, 2012 at 4:03 am | Reply
  80. Albert

    Part of the problem is that the tech involved doesn't really seem to fit in the discrete glasses, such as processor, connectivity, 3G, and obviously: battery life! Other things such as waterproofability cannot be ignored either. Our smartphones only come out at determined moments. These would be constantly exposed to the elements.

    April 7, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Reply
  81. Marcus

    The TECH part in CNN is a real joke. They don't really talk about the specs of the device or say anything nice to it unless it's an iPhone or iPad isn't that true CNN? When a new iPad comes out or an iPhone..there's that big ad on top of the news. To the guy that wrote this article..you haven't said one thing about the device how it works or what it is made of...well i guess you don't know because it's not even out yet!! How can you say there is going to be ads in it if the device is not even out yet? All you talked about was pure negativity..And about your question Do we really need Google Glasses? Of course not..we don't NEED it just like a phone or tablet but we WANT it and guess what I'm buying it when it comes out. Your article here from 0 to 10...here: 0

    April 7, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Reply
    • arama471

      If its a joke, why visit it? Also: augmented reality gear is already out there, so yes this article is very superficial, but there are no specks for this particular product yet, and yelling at the people on the Internet isn't going to change that. Personally I'd give this article 8 out of 10 since its funny and interesting but lack reference to other augmented reality systems.

      April 8, 2012 at 2:36 am | Reply
    • Targus

      By :Now that the government's mideldng is over prices can resume their normal trajectory to a market-based equilibrium.In other words, look out below!Some of the mideldng is over. But we still have Fannie/Freddie/FHA representing 96.5% of loans being made. IMO, government price fixing should be illegal. Then again, if it were, who would fund the political elections?

      July 19, 2012 at 4:54 am | Reply
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