And now, from the wacky, eyebrow-raising rumor department: Google is secretly developing HUD glasses, according to a story by 9to5Google. The site says it caught wind of the project back in December, but it has unearthed new details since then.
Those new details were apparently provided by a "tipster" who got to see the prototype first hand. He claims the prototype "looks something like the Oakley Thumps," meaning a thick frame and possibly earbuds that swing down from the temples. The prototype features a system-on-a-chip, memory, and storage similar to what’s found in "generation-old" Android phones. I assume a battery is in the mix, too.
Aside from the lens display (which is purportedly for a single eye only), 9to5Google says features of the Google glasses include a built-in camera, a flash, voice calling capabilities, and a control system that translates head movements into input. No, I’m not making this up. The site explains, "We are told it is very quick to learn and once the user is adept at navigation, it becomes second nature and almost indistinguishable to outside users." (The key word here is "almost.")
Even if engineers are working on HUD spectacles deep inside Google’s secret underground labs, I somehow doubt we’ll see them commercialized. I wear prescription glasses, and I didn’t opt for titanium frames on a whim—heavy frames are uncomfortable to wear, plain and simple. Carrying part of a smartphone on my face is not an appealing prospect. Neither is jiggling my head in public to scroll down my contacts list.