Science& Tech

Google Glass: Look into the future

Google Glass, the newest project by the internet company is set to be released this year but could struggle to fins a market among the public.

in a study conducted by a popular American discount website CouponCodes4u.com,it was revealed that 46 per cent of American customers said they would not agree to spend more than $500 for Google Glass.

Although Google Glass won’t go on sale to the public until the end of 2013, the price is expected to reach $1,500 (around £990).

The poll which surveyed nearly 2,600 Americans revealed that over 60 per cent of the respondents had heard of  Google Glass and would be interested in buying the product.

David Marshall

David Marshall

David Marshall, professor of computer vision at Cardiff University told The Archer: “Personally I have no burning desire to get a pair to use in my normal life. But I may be interested in these from a research point of view.”

Professor Marshall said he was unsure how many people would like to or be able to wear the glasses introduced by Google. His concerns are mainly raised by the practicality of Google’s newest device.

“How will this fit with wearing normal glasses? Or sun glasses?” he asked. The question whether the Google Glass project may be just another fashionable gadget.

Last month Google launched a website dedicated to the Glass project which featured a video showing different possibilities which the new device could provide its customers.

A pair of Google’s glasses would allow its users to surf the internet, get live directions, send photos and texts and translate foreign languages as they go through their daily routines.

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google glass photo: newstar.superlife.ca

Although Google Glass evoked many emotions in the media and prompted a large interest among the public, the instantaneous access to important information, which has been the main function of the augmented reality and it is not a new thing.

Professor Marshall said that now the general public could benefit from owning technology developed by Google Glass.

“From what I can see it may have some really good uses and the idea of Virtual Reality being brought to the consumer has a great potential,” he said.

Since 2005 soldiers could benefit from head-mounted displays (HMD) in the field, similarly in the jet fighter cockpits we can find head-up displays (HUD), technology mirroring the Google’s newest development.

Both the HMDs and HUDs overlay important target and navigational information allowing a soldier or a pilot to make split second instinctive decisions without any hesitation.

Automobile manufacturers have already showed how similar technology could be employed in an intelligent car which would highlight important signs or lanes and display traffic information.

But with the rapid emergence of new communication technologies, some of the concerns regarding threats to people’s ordinary ways of living have been raised.

“I have a deep mistrust of Google and threat to privacy,” Professor Marshall said. “Everything Google does is to get data on our personal traits to make money for them!

“I am not sure all this hi-tech necessarily enhances our lives.  In certain areas yes, virtual navigation, assisting disabled people, some cool games and no doubt assisting in many professional duties,” he said.

Many believe that Google as a global corporation is going to learn more about the behaviour of the user by placing numerous ads across the display screen of Google glass as if you were watching a YouTube video or searching the web.

There is also a danger that while wearing the device the company might be able to record the user’s activity while not even knowing.

As the technology is progressing, more and more hi-tech companies decided to explore and develop the potential of wearable devices.

The recent rumours about Apple’s iWatch sparked a debate about enhancing people’s everyday life by bringing technology closer to humans.

One of many mock-ups of how the iWatch might look Photo: WIRED.COM

One of many mock-ups of how the iWatch might look Photo: WIRED.COM

Apple has been suspected of creating a team of 100 developers who are continually working on the iWatch project. Further plans might be released this year.

“I certainly believe the rumours. I’d accept something that can connect to iPhone, iPad and other computing devices,” said Professor Marshall.

The company’s “smart-watch” is supposed to be integrated with the vast majority of Apple’s products and services, such as iPhones, iPads, Macs, iTunes etc. The watch could also use the voice assistant Siri to control music, dictate messages or get directions.

The iWatch is believed to act as a personal facilitator which would notify you as soon as you receive an email, text message or a phone call.

Many analysts predict that this year is going to be the one of the smart-watch wars among major hi-tech companies.

Samsung, widely regarded as the biggest competitor to Apple’s mobile products, announced that it’s working on a high-tech watch as well. Samsung Vice President of Mobile Lee Young Heerecently told Bloomberg that the new watch developed by Samsung “will perform many of the tasks of a smartphone”.

Considering that Samsung is Google’s largest partner operating in Android, it is very likely that Samsung’s watch would run on Android too. In that respect, the watch is believed to integrate with Samsung’s devices instantaneously.

Last week, Samsung announced its newest smartphone which allows users to control its screen by using their eyes only.

“This is interesting,” said Professor Marshall, “I’d be interested to see how well this feature works in the whole range of lighting conditions which make any video or image analysis very challenging, for example strong or bright back lighting, the sun, or operating in very dark conditions.”

The Galaxy S IV made a huge step since last year when the previous, S3 model, was released and sold over 40 million units worldwide. During Samsung’s Broadway-themed event in New York, the company revealed the phone’s new feature which allows taking two different pictures at the same time.

Samsung Galaxy S IV will be available globally at the end of April.

Tymoteusz Chajdas

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