After Google's whiz-bang Project Glass video dropped a few months ago, I think we were all curious about what the so-called "Google Glasses" would actually be able to do. Though we recently learned that the final product is unlikely to achieve everything shown in the video, we recently got a whole, WHOLE lot more information the futuristic Glasses, as Google has, for the first time, let non-Google employees wear the prototypes and report their experiences.

Yes, at a Google+ Photography Conference in San Francisco -- organized by photographer Scott Kelby and his cohorts at the Kelby Media Group along with Google -- Google co-founder Sergey Brin allowed a bunch of photographers to take his picture wearing the Project Glass prototype, and then gave those photographers a special treat -- he let the photogs try on the glasses themselves. A bunch of conference attendees -- Brad Moore, Brian Matiash, Nicole S. Young, and many more -- all posted pictures of themselves in Glass-wear to their Google+ pages, to the envy of their followers.

Here's Jim Goldstein, describing what it's like to wear Google's Glasses on his blog:

They weren’t too heavy and they were very easy to wear. Considering what is packed into this small form factor it’s tough to believe how much functionality you actually get out of them. They include a camera, a heads-up screen to review photos and review augmented reality data tied to what you’re seeing and where you are (this later part was not seen nor tested). Unfortunately for me I’m left-eye dominant and the glasses were for a right-eye dominant person. For this reason to really see much I had to wince, closing my left eye.

Other first-time users reported similarly positive experiences. Photographer Brian Matiash, on his Google+ page, wrote that he couldn't go into technical details but did say that the prototype "work[ed] exceptionally well. I mean, seriously awesome." Colby Brown was similarly enthusiastic, posting on his Facebook page that "[a]fter just having spent some time with a prototype of the Google Glasses project..I have to say I am impressed. Certainly innovation at its finest..."

After trying out a pair for herself, photographer Piper Mackay raved: "Wow the future is going to be a wild ride!!"

And now to throw a bunch of cold water on all that excitement. At the Google+ Photographer's Conference, Brin gave a (somewhat discouraging) hint about where Google is in the development of Project Glass. Here's his description of the prototypes we've seen floating around over the past couple months:

"These are not beta, these are not alpha; these are, you know, kind of rough off the lab floor."

Sad trombone.

Below, we've pulled together a whole bunch of photos of the Google Glasses prototypes, and also a bunch of pictures taken with the Project Glass device, all originating at the Google+ Photographer's Conference. Some of these come from the Project Glass Google+ page and were just first shown at the conference; others arrived via photographers attending a "photo walk" with Sergey Brin in San Francisco during the G+ PhotoCon, where the Google co-founder showed off his specs and took a playful hands-free picture of his personal paparazzi.

In addition to all that, we also have one video. It's by far our favorite use of Google's Glasses, and it features a Glass-wearer doing back flips on a trampoline, recording the whole thing. Hold on to your lunches, it's about to get dizzy up in here...

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  • The Crazy Trampoline Video

    Taken with Google Glasses. <a href="https://plus.google.com/111626127367496192147/posts" target="_hplink">Via the Google+ page for Project Glass</a>.

  • Sergey Brin Hands-Free Photo

    Snapping photos of the photo snappers, during a "photo walk" at the Google+ Photography Conference. <a href="https://plus.google.com/photos/111626127367496192147/albums/5745849874061604161/5745851316774497090" target="_hplink">Via the Project Glass Google+ page</a>.

  • An Alternate View Of That Photo

    Via <a href="http://www.bmoorevisuals.com/" target="_hplink">Brad Moore of BMOORE Visuals</a>, on <a href="https://plus.google.com/u/1/100671962746616152327/posts/PmA977ZDCVG" target="_hplink">his Google+ page</a>.

  • Speaking Of Brad Moore...

    ....here he is, wearing the Project Glass prototype. He told me he only got to wear it for a little bit, so he couldn't tell me much about it. But he did manage to get some of the most amazing, close-up photos of Google's Glasses yet...

  • Like This One, For Example

    Note that little flicker of blue light on the lens in front of Sergey's right eye. Let's zoom in, shall we?

  • Even Closer

    Now you can really see that mini-screen.

  • Maybe The Best Photo Of Google's Glasses

    Google co-founder Sergey Brin, in front of the Apple store in downtown San Francisco. Photographer Brad Moore's <a href="https://plus.google.com/u/1/100671962746616152327/posts" target="_hplink">caption on this Google+ snapshot</a>: "Heh, heh."

  • Hands On Your Knees, Hands On Your Knees

    The Project Glass team <a href="https://plus.google.com/photos/111626127367496192147/albums/5745849874061604161/5745849877983743410" target="_hplink">also shared on its Google+ page</a> some of the best pictures taken with Google's Glasses so far. There are 14 photos (and one video) on that website; we've chosen a few of our favorites, and the best uses of the hands-free technology, here.

  • Reading Some Other Newspaper

    Just kidding! Love ya, <em>New York Times</em> ;) <a href="https://plus.google.com/photos/111626127367496192147/albums/5745849874061604161/5745850104204108114" target="_hplink">Via Project Glass</a>.

  • Helping Out On The Playground

    <a href="https://plus.google.com/photos/111626127367496192147/albums/5745849874061604161/5745850065516012802" target="_hplink">Via Project Glass</a>.

  • Playing With Baby

    <a href="https://plus.google.com/photos/111626127367496192147/albums/5745849874061604161/5745850112444972306" target="_hplink">Dawwwwwwwww</a>. Via Project Glass.

  • "The Perfect Shadow Picture"

    Indeed, this kind of photo is practically impossible using a traditional camera. <a href="https://plus.google.com/photos/111626127367496192147/albums/5745849874061604161/5745850091590054194" target="_hplink">Via Project Glass</a>.

  • Throwing The Pigskin

    Another photo that is all but impossible with a standard camera. <a href="https://plus.google.com/photos/111626127367496192147/albums/5745849874061604161/5745850088505537234" target="_hplink">Via Project Glass</a>.

  • In The Rain

    Cool umbrella. <a href="https://plus.google.com/photos/111626127367496192147/albums/5745849874061604161/5745850104725772818" target="_hplink">Via Project Glass</a>.

  • Photogs Wearing Project Glass

    What do you think of this radical blue Glass prototype? <a href="https://plus.google.com/u/1/100671962746616152327/posts" target="_hplink">Via Brad Moore</a>.

  • Brian Matiash In Google Glasses

    Photographer Brian Matiash tries on a pair. His review: "Simply amazing." <a href="https://plus.google.com/u/1/108705174211639807508/posts" target="_hplink">Via Google+</a>.

  • Nicole S. Young In Google Glasses

    The photographer models a prototype at the Google+ Photographer's Conference. <a href="https://plus.google.com/113097851206100618060/posts" target="_hplink">Via Google+</a>.

Read on to see more early images of the Google "glasses."

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