Google isn't the only one working on HUD glasses. According to this Bloomberg piece, eyewear maker Oakley has been exploring similar technology since the late 90s. Specifically, Oakley has been developing the projector tech required to display information on the surface of a lens. It's amassed 600 patents in the process, says Oakley CEO Colin Baden.
Interestingly, Baden adds that Oakley intends its eventual product to be a standalone device capable of functioning without an accompanying smartphone. Oakley will be targeting athletes first, and they're unlikely to be enthusiastic about carrying a secondary device. I'm not sure how many athletic endeavors require a heads-up display, though.
Oakley is no stranger to wearable electronics, having already integrated MP3 players and Bluetooth headsets into sunglasses. It also makes a fair amount of gear for the military, which would undoubtely be interested in HUD technology for soldiers. And you know Duane Chapman of Dog the Bounty Hunter fame wants a pair.
What makes Oakley's exploration of HUD glasses so intriguing is the company's knack for producing attractive eyewear. As Baden points out, "people get very particular when they put stuff on their face." Google's Project Glass concept looks pretty ugly to me, and I think Oakley can do better. At the very least, its optics background should ensure that the HUD doesn't sacrifice one's view of the world. Thanks to The Verge for the tip.