RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Google Inc is getting into the eyewear business with a pair of thin wraparound shades that puts the company’s Web services in your face, literally.
The experimental “augmented reality” glasses – from the same team that is developing self-driven cars – can snap photos, initiate videochats and even display directions at the sound of a user’s voice.
The prototype digital glasses, unveiled on the company’s Google+ social network on Wednesday, are still being tweaked and tested, and are not available in stores yet.
“We’re sharing this information now because we want to start a conversation and learn from your valuable input,” Google wrote in a post on a Google+ page devoted to Project Glass.
The Google+ page featured a 2-1/2 minute video, shot from the perspective of someone wearing the glasses. The wearer goes about his day walking through New York City while speaking commands to the glasses.
The post asks people to submit their suggestions for what they would like to see in the glasses.
Google, the world’s No. 1 search engine, is famous for letting its employees work on ambitious projects that don’t always have a direct relation to its business.
Those projects have not always sat well with investors, who worry about Google’s spending on projects with uncertain returns.
The glasses could provide a way for Google to more closely entwine its advertising-supported online services, including Web searches, maps and email, into people’s daily lives.
The glasses, under development for two years, will be tested in public by members of the Google team, according to the Google insider.