Nine months after Google announced its “Project Glass” glasses, the search giant is still deciding on features.
Babak Parviz, head of the project (also known as “Google Glass”), described the feature set for the high-tech glasses as “still in flux” in an interview with IEEE Spectrum.
“We have mentioned some basic capabilities, like taking a picture and sharing it,” Parviz said. “We are experimenting with a lot of things. The feature set for the device is not set yet.”
Project Glass, announced last year, will be a set of glasses with a small display attached to the right lens, sitting on the edge of the user’s vision. Users control the display through a small touch panel on the right side of the glasses, though Parviz said Google has experimented with voice controls as well.
In rare public appearances, Project Glass has shown a focus on photography and video. Google has said that a wearable camera allows users to quickly snap photos that they might miss if they have to stop and take out their smartphones or digital cameras.
In the IEEE Spectrum interview, Parviz said the other goal of the project is to help users get information quickly, though he didn’t elaborate. A concept video from the project’s announcement hints at getting directions, checking the weather and scheduling appointments, but at the time Google said the video only showed what “might” become of the device. Parviz said augmented reality, where the hardware shows information based on what the device’s camera sees in the real world, will likely come in future generations of the glasses, but won’t be a focus in the initial release.
Google is still planning to send out prototypes to a small group of developers, who paid $1,500 up front for the privilege, in early 2013. Since taking those pre-orders, Google has been improving the hardware and software, and is working toward battery life that can last through a single day of use, Parviz said
The company hasn’t announced any information on when a finished product will go on sale, or how much it’ll cost. Given that the feature set isn’t finalized and developers are still waiting on prototypes, wider availability is likely a long way off.
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Jared Newman has been helping folks make sense of technology for over a decade, writing for PCWorld, TechHive, and elsewhere. He also publishes two newsletters, Advisorator for straightforward tech advice and Cord Cutter Weekly for saving money on TV service.