Google May Launch Augmented Reality Glasses At I/O Event

The wearable augmented-reality glasses developed by Google’s Project Glass team could show up at the company’s annual developer-focused conference, the I/O event in June, according to a research note from Global Equity Research that was based on the viewpoint of Android developers.

The glasses created a media sensation when Google unveiled a short video and Google+ page for them last week. Later in the week, Google co-founder Sergey Brin was spotted in San Francisco sporting the stylish specs, leading to a fresh wave of coverage.

Wearable Android devices

“This year, Google will have a new focus area ‘wearable devices’, based on Android OS. Developers think Google extended this year’s Google I/O event from two days to three days, probably to accommodate this new focus area,” the note said. “Google will very likely open up Google AR [augmented reality] platform to the developers, so that the developers can write applications to Google Glasses, the wearable AR glasses.”

A two-and-a-half minute promotional video the Project Glass team posted on YouTube, which takes viewers on a tour of a user’s daily routine as he makes breakfast, video chats with his girlfriend and travels around New York City, gives an impression of what the technology is capable of.

Photos on the project’s Google+ page also show what the final creation – a sleek, white, paper-thin geek-chic frame – could look like.

The glasses have sparked a debate over the usefulness of the technology, with some technology analysts questioning whether people really want a constant stream of information in their face.

Speed of adoption

In a report in the Associated Press, technology analyst Rob Enderle said although the technology behind the concept is available, he cautioned that the speed with which the glasses are being developed should give people pause.

“Whether Google is going to do it or someone else is going to do it, it’s going to happen,” Enderle told the news service. “The question is whether we’ll be ready, and given history, we probably won’t be. As a race, we tend to be somewhat suicidal with regard to how we implement this stuff.”

The Global Equity note also said Google would likely also open up Smart Watch Platform to the developers.

“Developers pointed to recent Smart Watch products like the Sony Smart Watch, which runs Google’s Android operating system,” the note read. “Based on what we know right now, we think, investors might want to position themselves to play the Google I/O catalysts, which will happen in the last week of June 2012.”

Do you know Google’s secrets? To find out, take our quiz.

Nathan Eddy

Nathan Eddy is a contributor to eWeek and TechWeekEurope, covering cloud and BYOD

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