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More Details On Google Glass 93

Posted by timothy
from the for-all-your-skydiving-conversation-needs dept.
Earlier today we discussed Google's I/O conference keynote presentation, which gave updates on Android 4.1, Google+, the Nexus 7 tablet, and the Nexus Q streaming device. We also got a rather dramatic demonstration of Google Glass, complete with skydiving, bike flips, and rappelling. They followed up with a press conference solely dedicated to Glass, and Timothy was there to cover it. Read on for details about Glass.
As we mentioned earlier, the developers at I/O have the option to buy the 'Explorer Edition' of Google Glass for $1,500. In addition to the (functional, but unfinished) device itself, they also get access to Google's engineers and to keep up with the devices development. Worry not: when the consumer version of the device is finalized, it will be cheaper, but of course they aren't ready to talk about actual prices yet. As for availability: "Less than a year after we get these Explorer Editions out."

Google wants to encourage creative hacking, even if they don't want the developers to immediately put the results in front of users. Sergey said, "Having used a lot of GoPros, what I really want to do is have 5 GoPros along with me — but also Glass, so you can easily capture the data hands-free, that you can see what you're capturing as you do it."

How do you click a web page? Sergey stumbles a bit -- "maybe you should switch to phone or try another device."

For tying into other Google services, and storing all that data, there is instant upload for pictures. Videos are larger, and they haven't finished how that interaction is going to work. The Google Map improvements with 3D views are perfect for viewing with the glasses.

Sergey also talked briefly about safety. Google has a lot of experience with this, particularly from the self-driving car. Speaking to actual experience: compared to driving, where you have distant view, plus dashboard instruments, etc., "This feels much safer." To objections that (say) even heads-up displays on cars are very limited, Sergey counters by pointing out that they only want to present a limited amount of data.

He went on to speak about the design of the glasses. There were two paths they had to choose from. Their initial instinct was to make these as much like glasses as possible; essentially a device disguised as glasses. Sergey said, "When we went through design options, decided, lets be bold .. a lot of people go through a fair amount of effort not to wear glasses; they wear contacts and things like that." So, they discarded glasses and made it an asymmetrical thing, very non-glasses like. He basically sidestepped a question about whether they've worked or are working with makers like Bausch & Lomb on products.

After fielding a few annoying questions about Larry's health, he went on to say Google Glass fits well with the charter of Google Apps, "to take bold risks and push the edges of technology. ... I think we're definitely pushing the limits." It's not all perfect, though. "There've definitely been situations where I felt that we got the software wrong. When you have something buggy and crashing there," he said, gesturing to the camera above his eye, "that's a real problem."

They're currently demonstrating the glasses. We'll have some video of that for you later.
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More Details On Google Glass

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  • Just think, future generations will have a nice high-res recording of your dying moments! Ever wondered exactly what your great great grandparent saw and heard as they died? These glasses, should they catch on, will also produce a whole new wave of sex and practical joke creepiness...
    • by KingSkippus (799657) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @05:58PM (#40472605) Homepage Journal

      Better yet, "Hey son, check this out, it's the exact moment you came into existence!"

      Seriously, though, this does look cool. There have been a lot of times when I wish I had a video camera handy but just didn't want to fool with one, even built into a cell phone. Also, if it keeps basically a circular realtime recording of everything going on, it would be really handy to re-watch things that you normally wouldn't be recording at all.

      One thing that I suspect will have to be addressed at some point is exactly how much control you have over the data. For example, if you're involved in a wreck, it would be really nice to have the video showing exactly what happened since eyewitness testimony is so unreliable and people tend to lie. But would you be arrested for obstruction of justice if you deleted the video off of your Google Glass because you knew you were speeding?

      • by v1 (525388) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:07PM (#40472667) Homepage Journal

        But would you be arrested for obstruction of justice if you deleted the video off of your Google Glass because you knew you were speeding?

        Probably more of a "destruction of evidence" charge, but yes that would be possible. There would be a burden of proof to show that (1) recognized the video was evidence of a criminal act, and (2) you destroyed or altered it for the purpose of interfering with justice.

        (2) can be difficult to prove. "I always clear it every morning and did it out of habit without thinking that accident yesterday might go to court" alone could cast reasonable doubt against (2). Usually requires some other supporting evidence like testimony that you told someone that you deliberately wiped it, or asked someone if it was admissible as evidence before you wiped it etc. The rules of proof for destruction of evidence are a little more lenient however due to the nature of the crime.

        • If ever you destroy evidence, be sure to destroy the evidence that you destroyed the evidence. Then destroy the evidence that you destroyed the evidence that you destroyed the evidence.

          You could also destroy the evidence that you destroyed the evidence that you destroyed the evidence that you destroyed the evidence, but some say that's a little paranoid.

      • Hey son, check this out, it's the exact moment you came into existence!

        But that moment is AO-rated!

      • Before you decide this is a "great" idea you should probably watch the Black Mirror episode where people record everything they see around them. Without spoiling the ending, a husband suspects his wife of cheating, and his eyecam provides the evidence. (Search youtube; I watched it there.)

    • Strange Days bro

      Strange Days are here at last!

      • As someone who works in the educational sector, I assure you they are not. We're still heavily focused on cramming their heads with already-obsolete technologies and rote learning to maximise exam scores.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Somewhat more morbid, the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case would have been settled already. How will Google Glasses affect crime and punishment?

  • Fears of this (Score:5, Interesting)

    by KingSkippus (799657) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:04PM (#40472651) Homepage Journal

    I have two major concerns about this, neither of which are safety-related.

    First, as I mentioned above, it would have to be absolutely clear that I alone control the data on it. If I'm involved in an automobile accident, for example, I don't want to be arrested for obstruction of justice if I decide to delete the video. However, if I need to use it in court, I would get to choose to keep it as evidence.

    Second, what about privacy concerns? I mean, right now, if I see a hot girl, I have my memories. Not any more, now I have video of her that I can upload to Facebook! Will people take these things off in restrooms out of respect? I doubt it. Will I never be able to tell off-color jokes to my friends who have these again because it might come up at an inconvenient time when I'm interviewing for a job at some point?

    As a lesser but still valid concern, what about copyright? I'm sure that movie theaters would have a cow if you wore them in. What if I'm just lounging around the house and happen to have the television on or a song playing on the Nexus Q, am I going to be sued by Sony or making illegal copies of copyrighted material? Are they going to build in a kill switch for Google Glass controlled by your content-protected television? Etc.

    This is a fascinating technology, but not without some challenges. I can't wait to see what happens as these things are worked out.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      >If I'm involved in an automobile accident, for example, I don't want to be arrested for obstruction of justice if I decide to delete the video.

      This is ridiculous. This has nothing to do with Glass. You're ALREADY guilty of destruction of evidence if you did something like this with a conventional "dash-mounted" camera or something. Why should there be special laws for Google Glass?

      • ...Thus proving my point. I'd rather simply not have this, than have it knowing that it can be used against me.

        • Re:Fears of this (Score:4, Informative)

          by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @09:20PM (#40474325) Homepage Journal

          ...Thus proving my point. I'd rather simply not have this, than have it knowing that it can be used against me.

          So don't record video while you're driving. Honestly, I expect that people won't be using this to stream their life anyway, for a simple, pragmatic reason: battery life.

          • Re:Fears of this (Score:5, Insightful)

            by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @11:19PM (#40475025)

            ...Thus proving my point. I'd rather simply not have this, than have it knowing that it can be used against me.

            So don't record video while you're driving.

            Even better: don't drive. If your driving is so bad that you think a recording is more likely to convict you than exonerate you, then you probably shouldn't be on the road in the first place.

            • Where did I say that it would be "more likely to convict [me] than exonerate [me]?" I'm a safe driver, thank you very much. If such a thing were ever used for evidence, the odds are overwhelmingly good that it would be in my favor. However, I also admit that sometimes I do make mistakes, and I don't want my own video used to incriminate myself if I do screw something up. Let them invest their own damn money into buying things to provide evidence for them.

              • by Jmc23 (2353706)
                ah, people like you are why the world isn't in a better place. Not only rejecting responsibility for their actions but believing it's their right to do so. Thanks douche.
        • Re:Fears of this (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Zerth (26112) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @09:43PM (#40474435) Homepage

          Guess what, you don't get a choice. The other driver and many of the drivers around you will be using it, get subpoenaed and you'll still be pwned.

          Lots of people now have dashcams because they believe that they are more likely to be hit than to cause an accident.

        • by garaged (579941)

          If you will be cheating with info about you poitentially covering a crime or faking one for someone else it's better that you dont have one of those, you're still a danger to society, but that was happwning before these glasses existed

    • First, as I mentioned above, it would have to be absolutely clear that I alone control the data on it. If I'm involved in an automobile accident, for example, I don't want to be arrested for obstruction of justice if I decide to delete the video. However, if I need to use it in court, I would get to choose to keep it as evidence.

      If you alone control the data on the device, you probably can't demonstrate it hasn't been tampered with. So, it's not going to be allowable evidence.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      1) You don't get that now. If you intentionally wipe data from your car after an accident, you can ge into trouble. some with any device.

      2) No different then anyone having a camera now. Maybe you should either stop telling off color jokes, or own up to it. Stop being a coward.

      3) They don't need to be recording all the time.

    • For all practical purposes, you would never stream a video feed live to a social website. With gigs of flash memory being stuffed into the device, it would be far easier to record the device for 24 hours non-stop. Then, you can mark your daily events as the occur meaningful. Download, cut what you want to share, and publish online. Pretty easy concept.

      Now, the police getting their hands on one of these unedited. Lets see...sexual harassment, unsafe driving, jay walking, breaking additional laws 1233125, 552

      • There not designed for that. From what I read they are designed to offload the data. They have some memory but not enough that it wouldn't fill up after a day.
    • by dell623 (2021586)

      That makes no sense. We turn off mobile cameras in restrooms, we can take off these things.

      It is trivially easy to hide a tiny camera in a shirt button or something these days if you want to record stuff in secret. That technology is already here, the privacy concerns already exist.

      Obviously, with these glasses, you can control what you record, and when video/still recording is on or off. And frankly google has a much better record of giving you control of your own content than Facebook. Besides, we record

    • Re:Fears of this (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Gaygirlie (1657131) <gaygirlie@NOsPAM.hotmail.com> on Thursday June 28, 2012 @02:41AM (#40475955) Homepage

      I have two major concerns about this, neither of which are safety-related.

      First, as I mentioned above, it would have to be absolutely clear that I alone control the data on it. If I'm involved in an automobile accident, for example, I don't want to be arrested for obstruction of justice if I decide to delete the video.

      Google cannot go around your local laws. And what you're talking about is all about the law: if it is illegal to delete the evidence then it is, there's nothing Google can do about it.

      As a lesser but still valid concern, what about copyright? I'm sure that movie theaters would have a cow if you wore them in.

      Most movie-theaters these days seem to employ Cinavia ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinavia [wikipedia.org] ) or similar, meaning that Google Glass - built-in software will just be able to disable recording when it detects a Cinavia-protected content.

      What if I'm just lounging around the house and happen to have the television on or a song playing on the Nexus Q, am I going to be sued by Sony or making illegal copies of copyrighted material?

      Probably yes. Blame the silly copyright laws.

      Are they going to build in a kill switch for Google Glass controlled by your content-protected television? Etc.

      That will be tough to do. Cinavia works in a cinema just fine, but at home you may be trying to record something completely different while you have your TV turned-on, and POOF, you won't be able to record anything until you turn it off. There would have to be a way of identifying the source of the Cinavia - signal and then the object in question would have to be blurred out -- something the glasses most likely won't have the processing grunt to do -- as even if the TV was in your view it could very well not be the object you're trying to record; there could e.g. be your child playing on the floor near the TV, doing something hilarious, and you want to record that but you can't just somehow disable the TV in the background at that moment.

      • Just to be clear, I'm not blaming Google or expecting them to do something about it. You're right--they have to abide by what law enforcement dictates. That was really what I was getting at--I'm blaming law enforcement (and content companies and the RIAA/MPAA, etc.) for likely ruining this really cool product before it even launches.

        • They will only have ruined the hardware if they make it impossible for us to flash new ROM into it that allow us to entirely take control of the device.

    • by sowth (748135)

      ... What if I'm just lounging around the house and happen to have the television on or a song playing on the Nexus Q, am I going to be sued by Sony or making illegal copies of copyrighted material? Are they going to build in a kill switch for Google Glass controlled by your content-protected television? ...

      The big media companies already tried to pass a law requiring this. It was called the CBDTPA [wikipedia.org]. It failed just as hard as SOPA, though some aspects of it have appeared in a certain company's OS in the form

    • To sort of answer your concerns with a question, how is the current configuration of Glass any different than walking around with a camera taking video and snapshots constantly?
    • Bingo. This is bringing Facebook to meatspace. Like Facebook, I won't be using it myself (I like the hardware but I agree on the control issues), however even us innocent bystanders will still suffer thanks to other people sharing information on us.

    • I have two major concerns about this, neither of which are safety-related.

      How about crowd-sourced lawsuits. Law firms pay people to review questionable footage and file lawsuits against those that are deemed money-makers. Same could be said for tabloid writers: crowd-source your celebrity footage and pick the juiciest clips.

  • Honestly what sort of person wants to push their whole life into google's data centres in such detail? Given all the tourists in this area I'm used being filmed and being in pictures more than I care to but I don't mind it at all. However if I were sitting somewhere and trying to relax with some idiot filming every little thing on his ugly glasses then yes I think I would have an issue with that.

    Between this and the sort of tracking that appears to be happening on their new tablet, for your "convenience"
    • Re:Seriously dumb (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bhagwad (1426855) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:27PM (#40472885) Homepage
      So basically...you can't see any value in this kind of product at all? Let's get the technology going first. We're geeks after all. I'll bother about the other considerations after I finish being excited over the technological aspect.
      • Actually no, not really. It's a nice idea but I'm not going to pay a lot to look stupid and allow Google to record my life. The technology behind it is interesting just not the product.
      • Let's get the technology going first.

        Famous last words.

        Of humanity.

        • by bhagwad (1426855)
          I can think of better ways of exiting :D. Sure beats nuclear annihilation, or starvation, or asteroid impact or gradual dying off. Go out with a bang representing everything we stood for eh?
      • It's like the Kinect. Once geeks got their hands on it, it became much more than a gimmick games controller.

    • Honestly what sort of person wants to push their whole life into google's data centres in such detail?

      I'm of the same mind as you - but I guarantee some people will revel in posting all their intimate details online. And, if the last decade is any indicator, an absurd number of people will waste countless hours vicariously watching them.

      Really, is it any different than those webcam girls that lived their lives online, 5-10 years ago? Funny thing is, I remember that they existed - but I can't remember any one of their names now.

      • I'd agree and have to say I've completely forgot about that but I can vaguely remember some web cam "celebrities" being on TechTV ages but I'm sure they're mopping floors now in a McDonalds. I feel bad for kids though that could have it come back and bite them in the backside when they realise everyone can see how much of a retard they were when they were younger. Everyone's done something stupid when they're young. Luckily though for most people they don't have to relive it for the rest of their lives.
    • Tracking (Score:4, Insightful)

      by DragonWriter (970822) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:47PM (#40473101)

      Honestly what sort of person wants to push their whole life into google's data centres in such detail?

      Most don't, just like most people don't want to give their money or personal information to the companies selling other products or providing other services that rely on access to personal information. Most people would prefer to keep their money and information.

      What people do want is the the benefits they get from using the devices and services. The cost -- in money or information that has to be handed over to get those benefits -- is something that people may be willing to accept as a cost, not something that they "want".

      Between this and the sort of tracking that appears to be happening on their new tablet, for your "convenience" leaves me wondering how much further Google wants to pry into our lives and perhaps something should be done about it.

      Assuming you are referring to the "Google now" feature, that doesn't seem to do any more tracking than Google already has been for a long time, it just leverages the ability to data mine the data Google has stored for the user's direct benefit more.

      Which may make more obvious how much tracking was already going on, and what people can learn by data mining, but it doesn't actually seem to be more tracking.

      • I mean more in tracking habits though it does specify location history so, depending on how much they gather now through Android, they are potentially tracking your location along with your habits more. There is sometimes a benefit to giving up privacy for something else but I don't think we should give any company the idea that they can increase that to whatever they feel is appropriate for their profits.
    • by ThePeices (635180)

      "some idiot filming every little thing on his ugly glasses then yes I think I would have an issue with that. "

      So you wouldnt have an issue if he recorded you with beautiful glasses?

      • by uglyMood (322284)
        Yeah, I've noticed this ridiculously shallow anti-glasses bias regarding 3D: "I don't want to wear stupid glasses to watch a movie," or "the glasses look dorky." Having worn glasses all my life, I strongly suspect that these are the same sort of troglodytes that used to call people like me "four-eyes" and "Mr. Peabody." What is wrong with glasses other than they apparently offend the delicate sensibilities of closeted bullies?
        • Agreed--it's the whole anti-intellectual streak that's run through western culture the last 50 years rearing its head. Disappointed that Sergy went down that route, even if he's just acknowledging reality.

          But have these anti-glasses people *seen* some of the glasses women wear now? Some of them are damn sexy and highlight their eyes far better than any shadowing or mascara can. And I'm talking fairly simple styles, not elaborate super-expensive designer pairs. Call it geek chic, sexy librarian fetish or wha

  • Reading this link: http://slashdot.org/topic/cloud/googles-nexus-7-aims-to-take-android-edge-from-amazon-kindle-fire/ [slashdot.org]

    The Kindle is a nice gadget but I never bought one, because the content is too expensive. I feel no motivation to pay for content that I'm already getting for free (via antennaTV, hulu, utorrent). Same applies for Google's new Edge tablet. "Google has also expanded its Google Play content hub to include magazines, television shows and movie purchases." The purchase part is what I am Not i

    • if you get content from your antenna, it's not free ... you are paying through advertising (you'd rather be subjected to 10 mins advertising / 30 min of content? okay then ...). hulu isn't free. you either watch ads or you pay monthly. if you are getting content from torrents that otherwise costs money from other sources, that's called stealing (as far as the law is concerned ... and okay, you'd rather steal things than pay for them).

      if you aren't interested in paying for content (in one way or another), th

      • by geekoid (135745)

        ou're argumen kind of falls apart when applied to Apple.

        For the record, I can't wait to buy the Asus Infinity TF700.

        • um, no. apple has content upsell also in the form of the entire itunes / appstore ecosystem. and at every turn you hear people talking that iOS users spend more on content than android. apple get a cut of all that.

          it's well known that the kindle fire is the only tablet that's made any sort of dent in the ipad's dominance (it's a pretty small dent). then you have all the other vendors fighting over the remaning few precent of the market that isn't consumed by the ipad and the fire. when you split 5% across f

        • oh, and for the record, i own (or i should say, my work owns) an asus TF-201 transformer. it performs pretty poorly overall, and if anything, it's slower than my galaxy tab 10.1 from last year. there's also a lot of animosity right now because asus released a shoddy product in the TF-201 then very shortly abandoned it and announced the TF-700. the TF-201 owners feel cheated.

          but better luck to you gambling your $600 on the infinity.

          • I've the original Transformer, and I'm very happy with it. Performs decently, good battery life, reliable. My one complaint is that it installed some unwanted bundled crapware with a firmware update, and made it impossible to remove. I had to root the tablet to get rid of it.
    • by geekoid (135745)

      There are other legit source of content for the kindle besides amazon.

      I really like my kindle.

    • My library lets me digitally check out books to read on my kindle. Yours probably does too. Free books + e-reader = ultimate geek win.
  • by PeanutButterBreath (1224570) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @06:48PM (#40473109)

    He went on to speak about the design of the glasses. There were two paths they had to choose from. Their initial instinct was to make these as much like glasses as possible; essentially a device disguised as glasses. Sergey said, "When we went through design options, decided, lets be bold .. a lot of people go through a fair amount of effort not to wear glasses; they wear contacts and things like that." So, they discarded glasses and made it an asymmetrical thing, very non-glasses like.

    Yet, many trendy people willing to spend $$$-$$$$ on functionally useless accessories wear frames with non-prescription clear lenses. But I guess such a person is probably not the target market for a pricey, vanity-centric device like Google Glass. . .

    Then there is the fact that eyeglasses are the culmination of generations of research on how to mount something over the human eye in a way that is comfortable during everyday activity. But hey, why not reinvent that wheel?

    • I would imagine it something like a Looxcie with an added boom that extends forward and over an eye. So these devices can be minimalistic and stylish too.

    • by FatAlb3rt (533682)
      vanity-centric device like Google Glass

      Let me guess, you also think it's lame because there's no wireless and less space than a Nomad.
    • Someone will come out non functioning look a like. Cheap hipster will wear them.
    • by jheath314 (916607)

      The decision to go with the asymmetric design is quite unfortunate... it calls to mind "Locutus of Borg" more than it does "acceptable eye-wear".

      My first in-person experience with this kind of technology was about ten years ago. One of the professors at my University was a pioneer in the field of wearable computers (http://www.eecg.toronto.edu/~mann/), so out of curiosity I sat in on one of his lectures. He was wearing a set of glasses (one of his earlier prototypes) that had some display mechanisms mount

      • by rrohbeck (944847)

        You got that wrong. You should associate Seven of Nine, not Locutus.
        This tech is clearly in its infancy. What I want to see is something that looks and works like regular glasses (because I wear them anyway) and projects the image like a HUD. Couple that with an eye tracking camera and you can control a cursor and "click" by winking.

        • by jheath314 (916607)

          That would be cool, at least until the computer misinterprets a standard blink as a click and I screw the system up in the blink of an eye, as it were.

          Or I suppose you could only count single-eye winks, which runs the risk some humorous misunderstandings / beatings, depending on who is in the vicinity.

          You could use motion sensitive rings on your fingers to sense input, but then you run the risk of looking like a moron playing with imaginary sock puppets: http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1994-10-12/ [dilbert.com]

  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Wednesday June 27, 2012 @08:46PM (#40474103)
    ... Philip Glass' [wikipedia.org] less musically-talented younger brother.
  • "Posted by timothy ..."

    "... and Timothy was there to cover it."
  • Shouldn't these be called Google Googles ?

  • Do we really see a future where people are going to walk around with some kind of headset and HUD?

    I think this is a cool concept, but with a very limited appeal and market. I think society will quickly lash out against all the techno-yuppies donning their Bluetooth and HUD glasses trying to seem more important then they are and believing they need ubiquitous connectivity.

    I just don't see a need for constant visual feedback of the world I am looking at, I think I will continue to use my brain for that reaso

  • Google Glass is a nice concept but it will never take off--in its current form. For starters, most don't want to wear glasses unless they are sunglasses, they realize this. Second, at least with a mobile you somewhat know when someone is recording or taking pics. The public pressure will be against these for general use, just as they would be if many started wearing GoPro cams everywhere they went, which is what these currently are since they have not shown any HUD functionality as of yet.

    They should ha

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