SALT LAKE CITY — Glasses with a computer display on the lenses? The list of perks — and hazards — starts to fill my mind with the thought of people walking around wearing Google's futuristic, Internet-connected goggles.
There's been a lot of buzz ever since Google gave a glimpse of "Project Glass" in a video and blog post.
They aren't on the market yet. In fact, Google has not trotted out a working prototype or mentioned a target release date. Price point? Forget it.
But that gives us some time to think about both the product and potential impacts.
Think of Google goggles as your smartphone reconfigured to wear on your face, and even more intuitive.
Following the concept, the wearable computer device would tell you what you might want to know about what you see. Information about your surroundings — the things you're looking at — pop up before your eyes on the inside of the lenses.
What if the moment you approached TRAX you instantly saw the train schedule on the glasses?
Hate running into people you can't quite place? Not a problem with these glasses: Facebook profiles could instantly appear and clue you in.
But with so much information literally in your field of view, could it become too much? What are the hazards of having information popping up in your field of view?
I went to KSL's tech guru, Randall Bennett, for some answers. He sees the glasses as a showing of what wearable computing could be.
Wearable computing is a concept that has been emerging for some time, alive and well in science fiction. It's the idea that eventually gadgets will become a part of us.
"The ability to overlay data specifically, so that it takes data off a computer and brings it into the real world; to me, that is a key part of this," Bennett said. "Whether the implementation matches exactly, we are not sure. But it is something we can picture ourselves using."
But how is Google going to make money off these glasses? Will the company be able to not only track but see your every move? Will ads start popping up for everything I look at — kind of like Google already does on gmail?
Bennett says Google could use the device as a way to gather more data about the user, or it could be interested in making money by selling a lot of the product.
Just from the targeted ads I see using Google's gmail, I'm guessing Google would have a hard time getting out of the information-gathering mode.
As a product, I love the concept. But if Google ends up knowing more about me than even my wife does, I'm not sure if I am ready for that world.
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