Google Glasses as Project Glass

Project Glasses: Google Glasses The Augmented Reality of the Google Glasses concept is moving out of the realm of speculation and rumor and into reality (see "Google Glasses Will Augment Your Reality"). Unlike the terminator-style sunglasses, first predicted, the new "glasses" appear to be more of a wrap-around frame. Google X (Google's technology development lab) has released this video to demonstrate the slick features:

The video shows how easy it is to interact with Google+ but makes no mention of how it will interface with Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest or any other popular social media.  Clearly, they are aiming at growing the Google's social circle (Duh!).  In fact, further information on Project Glass is not yet available from a regular website, but from a Google + page: g.com/projectglass

Of course this new technology raises lots of questions. Does it work in the dark. Do you really have to talk to it or can you nod your head to make it work (in either case your going to see some strange new behaviors).  What if it is raining, snowing, freezing, windy, super hot? And, what about driving.  The demo video is all pedestrian-based in New York City, but how does it perform as your negotiating a California Freeway.  Will it even be legal behind the wheel?  Will it be the new -- depending on your generation -- groovy, cool, awesome, rad, dope tech accessory or go the way of the eight-track tape?

We should know in a few months.  According to the New York Times, Google sources say the "...glasses will go on sale to the public by the end of the year." And, they are expected “to cost around the price of current smartphones.” They are also working on incorporating the frames to work with prescription glasses, which should expand their marketability.


The Illusions of Augmented Reality in Techno-Magic

Marco Tempest with iPhone magic The illusions of magic have delighted audiences for centuries. Augmented reality now makes it possible for the magician to make full use of technology to perform the illusions in a new and unique manner.

A recent segment of BBC News explains how this is accomplished; "'Cyber-illusionist' Marco Tempest reveals his tricks"

For an immediate peak at techno-magic check out this video:

See more AR illusions at "The Augmented Reality of Techno-Magic: Marco Tempest on TED.com", or learn more about Marco Tempest on his website.


Google Glasses Will Augment Your Reality

Google Glasses Rumors abound: Google will release smartphone-like-and-priced sunglasses at the end of this year -- just in time for the holiday shopping season. These augmented reality-enabled glasses will feature 3G and 4G connectivity, GPS, camera, movement sensor (for "easy to learn" head-tilt gestures) and stream real-time information in front of your eyes and into your ears.

A "leak" by Google insiders to the New York Times and other media sources has spawned a wealth of coverage about these new specs. And, just as many questions and contemplations of what this all means. Even what this new device is called is unclear: Is it "Google Glasses" or "Google Goggles"? (Probable answer: "Glasses" -- "Google Goggles" is already a mobile app). Below are three quick videos to introduce you to this latest gadget.

Barney Google Dick Tracy's smart watch Now if your thinking that this may not be what you want to be sporting on your head or your on holiday wishlist, there are also rumors that Apple is developing a smartphone for your wrist (see Bits: Disruptions: Wearing Your Computer on Your Sleeve). Somehow a computer on your wrist seems more natural, ala Dick Tracy, which was a feature of Microsoft's MSN Direct to watches and sadly discontinued (see Microsoft Shutters MSN Direct Service). Google Glasses make one think of Billy Rose's 1923 lyrics, "Barney Google (With the Goo-Goo-Googly Eyes)," as a harbinger of technology to come.


Shopping with Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) technology is emerging as the latest trend in shopping both in stores and online. As shown in an earlier post, this "augmented retail" takes many forms. So, to help you prepare for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday or whatever shopping, here're three video examples of how consumers can use AR to augment their buying experience.

The first, is a play on the old-fashioned past-time of paper dolls, in which interchangeable paper cutouts of garments are folded on to a flat silhouette.  But today, with the use of a computer, printer, Internet connection, webcam and Flash you become the "doll."  This video demonstrates the Fashionista™ tool, launched two years ago by RichRelevance and Zugara as the Webcam Social Shopper.  It shows clothes being tried on from Tobi.com.  Alas, this exact shopping experience is no longer at Tobi.com.  However, a U.K. online shopping site has adopted the technology.  You can try it out ourself at Banana Flame and even share the results on social media if your so inclined.

Second, for a more high-end online shopping experience, how about trying on diamond jewelry using augmented reality. This video is the latest project by Holition for Forevermark, a DeBeers retail brand. It uses Holition's augmented reality technology to bring, according to the promo, "movement and a true to life diamond sparkle."

To try on diamonds and even share the results on Facebook or Twitter (perhaps as a gift hint), go to Forevermark's site.

The third video provides a quick overview of how to try on eyeglasses with your iPhone -- yup, there's an app for that.

The eyeglass/facial recognition AR technology is from Total Immersion, the firm that created the SkinVaders app. The same technology using sunglasses is also explained in a video from eBay. You can view it on YouTube.