Prototype Google Glasses don't have full HUD displays


— 1:59 PM on May 16, 2012

After Google unveiled its Glasses project last month, we saw a number of Google executives donning prototype glasses out in public. One notable example: the appearance of Google X Founder Sebastian Thrun on Charlie Rose a few weeks back.

However, according to a new story by CNet News, the prototype glasses actually fall well short of the experience portrayed in Google's concept video. That's because they apparently don't show a full heads-up display across the user's field of vision:

While Google+ chief Vic Gundotra didn't say much about the Glasses during an interview this morning, a later discussion with another spokesperson confirmed that the popular prototype model, as seen on Gundotra as well as Google X Lab founder Sebastian Thrun in a Charlie Rose interview, shows information above the wearer's usual line of sight, "about where the edge of an umbrella might be."

I guess it's no surprise that the project isn't that far along yet. The fact that Google higher-ups wore glasses that looked identical to the ones in the promotional material might have been a tad misleading, though. One is left wondering if—and how—Google will replicate the full, world-covering HUD portrayed in the promo video, should the glasses be commercialized.

Even if it happens, I'm still dubious about the benefits. There's something uniquely convenient about a touch-screen device that fits in your pocket and doesn't have to be worn on your face all day. Glasses may look futuristic and offer unique benefits, but I don't know if they could really deliver a better overall experience, ergonomically speaking.

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