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.