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This is the Future: Google's Terminator-View Augmented Reality Sunglasses

March 2, 2012 at 2:06 PM | by | ()

Augmented reality is neat and everything, allowing you to hold up a digital screen and see a virtual layer on top of boring old regular reality. In the travel world, you can point your cell phone at the sky and see what flights are passing overhead. You can point it at a tourist attraction and get Lonely Planet readouts. Or you can stand in the middle of a town square and rotate your phone, and eBay deals will pop up as the camera moves across buildings and stores.

But having to hold up a screen can be just so inconvenient. It looks awkward, it feel awkward, and it's hard to text friends and check email while you're also using augmented reality apps. Enter the engineers at Google, who are promising—maybe even by the end of this year—to sell sunglasses with virtual reality displays on the inside of the lenses.

When you look around you will see all kinds of information projected in front of your eyes. That's so insanely cool we're having trouble thinking of a sarcastic jaded way to transition you to the rest of this post.

The so-called "smart glasses" would be enabled with a GPS device to figure out where you are, a low-resolution camera to figure out what you're looking at, and a 3G or 4G connection to stream information to you in realtime. 9to5Google has a source saying that the glasses will look like Oakley Thumps.

The glasses will of course be Android powered, which would allow them to integrate with other Google-branded devices and the rest of the Google ecosystem. Google's flagship augmented reality application—Google Goggles—already identifies "books, movies, monuments, logos, text" and can even solve Sudoku puzzles. Now imagine all of that embedded in a pair of glasses. They could be linked to your Google Contacts (or later Facebook), so that you'll never forget a name again since it will be displayed right there. Or they could be linked to Google Maps, so that you never get lost walking around in a new city again.

Living in the future is kind of nice.

[Photo: izirizibizi / YouTube]

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