Personal electronics have become an integral part of our lives. On any given day, I could use my iPod nano, smartphone, desktop computer, laptop, iPad and television. It’s a hassle bouncing between devices each day. Why should anyone have to when so many have similar functionality?
From a consumer’s perspective, what’s common among these devices is some type of visual display, audio and input device. When you think about it, all personal electronics boil down to altering a person’s sense of sight and sound. Smartphones are emerging as the “most universal” device at this time, but its screen size still limits its use as a personal computer or television.
On February 22, 2012, news about Google’s plan to launch glasses with a heads-up display by the end of 2012 gave me hope that, maybe, this dream of a universal device is one step closer to becoming a reality.
The current information available suggests the glasses will have a low-res camera, a 3G/4G connection, motion sensors and GPS. The glasses will use head tilting navigation and display real time information about the user’s surrounding environment through augmented reality apps.
This sounds like a good start, but my vision of a universal device is much grander. Think of it as merging Corning’s “A Day Made of Glass” concept with Google’s heads-up display glasses. So instead of interacting with multiple glass surfaces / devices, a user will simply interact with the images they perceive through his/her glasses. The glasses become the universal device.
As someone who has been wearing glasses for over 13 years, I realized that what I see is not actually the object or screen in front of me, but what I perceive through my glasses. If that is the case, are the objects or devices in front of me actually necessary? I would argue it’s not.
Imagine a pair of glasses with a computer built in and a single inconspicuous earpiece that allows you to hear audio. The glasses include voice command functionality and a projection keyboard that is only visible through the user’s glasses (on command). This handles the visual display, audio and input device. The glasses will, of course, be connected wirelessly and access data from the cloud.
Now here’s the really exciting feature, instead of having to physically sit in front of your desktop computer and television or take out your smartphone and tablet, you can simply prompt your glasses to display those devices and an image of the specified device will appear. The glasses will generate an image and you will perceive it as if you were looking at your regular television, sitting 10 ft way from you, for example. You will then be able to operate your television using voice commands or the projection keyboard to watch your favourite shows. Want to watch the show on a movie sized screen? Go into “movie mode” and an image of a theatre sized screen will appear in front of you. All the images and sounds produced through the glasses will only be perceived by the person wearing the glasses.
What do you think? Realistic? Creepy? Awesome?
Can you imaging the targeted marketing opportunities available with this device?
Photo Credit: IvanWalsh.com
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