Back in mid-December, some information about what Google was working on at their top secret Google X lab made its way online that left us wanting more. According to 9to5 Google, Google has been working on some Android powered smart glasses that would feature a heads up display for relaying information from the cloud. We still don’t know if this is true, or if it is, when the smart glasses would hit retail shelves, but Google has filed a request with the FCC signaling they are ready to test an “entertainment device” that will eventually be available to the masses.
In the original rumor report from 9to5 Google’s Seth Weintraub, Google’s smart glasses were detailed as looking like your average pair of eyeglasses, save for some unobtrusive buttons on the arms. The lenses would feature some sort of transparent display technology, similar to Samsung’s transparent Super AMOLED, that would show information based on several different things. If paired with an Android device, the glasses could very well let you know who is calling when your phone goes off, give a brief description of an email, or notify you of a calendar alert. But Google’s glasses might not have to be used with an Android device at all.
Rumors peg the glasses as capable of running on their own. They’d have some sort of data or WiFi and GPS access for connecting with your Google account, and bringing you location aware information. For example walking into your favorite gelato shop downtown may trigger a notification letting you know Google has a coupon available for this store. We imagine Google Maps navigation is another real possibility.
The reality of the situation here is that none of these rumored features could ever make it to consumers without some serious real world trials. Which is exactly what Google’s FCC request is all about.
Google has sent a request to the FCC to test 252 “entertainment devices” from January 17, to July 17, on home WiFi networks and through Bluetooth. At this point, we have no solid idea on what Google could possibly be testing. But we do know that the smart glasses rumor does have some weight behind it. “Prominent wearables” PhD Richard DuVaul, whose work centered around wearable heads up displays, has been employed at Google for just over six months now, or just enough time for a prototype device to hit the real world testing phases. Then again, we could be looking at something far less revolutionary like a watch.
With 252 of these new entertainment devices in the wild, someone is bound to leak something soon.