As times progress, consumers are continuously bombarded with new product concepts using technologies that we didn’t think were possible outside of recent Star Trek shows. While some are interesting and maybe even useful, others are not so much. The latest product concept from Google is designer eyeglasses with a computer screen embedded into the lens. What’s the big fuss, you ask? This isn’t like the other TV glasses that have been around for years. This version will allegedly superimpose mobile phone graphics onto what you see through the glasses. This is practically the same as the “augmented reality” technology that currently exists in mobile devices like Android phones and iPhones. The glasses would use a combination of gyroscopes and accelerometers to project graphics based on where you are looking. For example, if you are looking for the closest Italian restaurant, the glasses could show you the restaurants in the direction where you are looking, with a label next to each one identifying how far they are and what kind of Italian food they serve.
This is just one example of how augmented reality could be used in the glasses. See the end of this blog for a list of a few cool augmented reality apps that are already available for download.
But it doesn’t have to stop with augmented reality. What about getting appointment updates as you are headed to the appointment or having presentation notes streamed to your eyes as you are presenting. You’d never get lost if you had a huge arrow pointing to which street to turn down (but then again you might not see the car behind the arrow and then crash). There are endless applications for this technology, but how Google executes it will play a big role on the success of this new gadget. Many are saying the technology isn’t there yet; that the glasses will be too bulky and too geeky for the common consumer. Until Google officially releases the glasses later this year, we’ll just have to speculate.
However, if you are a retailer, this is one gadget consumers will be itching to try out and you won’t want to wait until Google releases it to think about how to securely display it at your store. With a hefty price tag between $200 and $600 per pair, this is also a device you won’t want to lose! This is why VPG has come up with a practical and non-intrusive way to show powered glasses and charge them while consumers get to try them out. See the image above.
So how about it, are you itching to try a pair out? How successful do you think the Google Glasses will be? Let us know in the comments area below.
Finally, there are many apps and games that use augmented reality to make the areas around the user come to life. Here’s a quick list of some neat augmented reality apps you can try today:
- Golfscape GPS Rangefinder: Golfscape pinpoints your position on the golf course, allowing you to identify potential hazards, choose your desired landing area and see real 360-degree viewing while on the course.
- DanKam for iPhone: An augmented reality app for those with color-blindness. This one changes the color of the existing view to one that is distinguishable by those who are color blind.
- Augmented Car Finder: A fun car finder that takes advantage of augmented reality technology to show you where you have parked your car.
- Panoramascope: This app gives you information about your terrain surroundings (mountain peaks, their names, and valleys). Great for those who are into outdoors, camping and beyond.
- AR Compass: A smart compass that shows Wikipedia articles and your custom waypoints. Great for exploring the unknown.
- Star Chart: Look through the eyes of your iPhone to see a virtual window into the whole visible universe. All you have to do is point your iPhone at the sky and Star Chart will tell you exactly what you are looking at.
- SnapShop Showroom: Visualize furniture in your own home using augmented reality. SnapShop gives you confidence that a sofa or chair looks great in your living room before you buy.
- AR Basketball: Turns what your phone sees into a mini basketball court. All you need to play basketball is a piece of paper and your iPhone.
- Sky Siege: A fun game that creates a battle airfield wherever you are. The game superimposes planes and helicopters for you to shoot down.
- Car Finder AR: A Car finder app which uses Augmented Reality and RADAR to help you reach your car where you parked it. It can even automatically save your car’s location if it disconnects from your phone’s Bluetooth.
- Wikitude Drive: Wikitude Drive overlays navigation directions onto the road seen ahead. This allows users to literally drive through their phone (although probably not recommended).
- Yelp: Walk through a new neighborhood and find restaurants and businesses simply by panning your phone around.
- Zombies, Run! : Zombies, Run is a trans-reality game for the Android platform that pits you against a world full of zombies in a race for your life. Your objective is to run to pick up supplies and to steer clear from roaming zombies.
- Sky Siege: A fun game that creates a battle airfield wherever you are. The game superimposes 3D planes and helicopters for you to shoot down onto your surroundings.