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