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Project Glass interface more limited than promo suggests

Posted: , by Victor H.

Project Glass interface more limited than promo suggests
Google’s Project Glass won’t exactly give us Terminator vision, but will rather offer more conservative features like navigation and notifications, according to a Google spokesperson who clarified matters for CNET.

“It’s still too early to know what the functions and UI will be,” the spokesperson, but stressed that it’s “simple interactions that are making people the most excited.” 

That contradicts the picture Google itself painted earlier of a world strongly augmented with digital content, with navigation and guides all over.

What all this goes to show is one problem with concept videos like the one of Google Project Glass many have been complaining about. Those videos are totally uninformative and seem like an unnecessary distraction for a company with a clear focus on end-products.

Google has patented the design of the innovative smart glasses with the USPTO, and says that the miniscule screen will appear “about where the edge of an umbrella might be.” Nothing too intrusive, and that’s definitely good news, as the design of the glasses will hugely define whether they’re a helper or just in the way. 

And there’s still a camera that allows you to snap POV pictures anywhere, anytime, so that alone seems like a huge advantage, don’t you think?

source: CNET

Project Glass interface more limited than promo suggests

19 Comments
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posted on 15 May 2012, 08:08 8

1. sorcio46 (Posts: 394; Member since: 27 Jul 2011)


We will see when it comes out, now talking about features of prototypes is only a waste of time

posted on 15 May 2012, 08:21 3

2. plgladio (Posts: 311; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


I agree, but knowing something in Tech world every day is awesome..

posted on 15 May 2012, 08:41 3

3. shadowcell (Posts: 300; Member since: 28 Mar 2012)


You wouldn't say that about my bacon generator machine. Or my LEGO block-sensing hover boots.

posted on 15 May 2012, 08:55 3

4. Sniggly (Posts: 6695; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Why doesn't anyone complain about the auto industry's propensity for concept cars?

Concept cars show off designs and features which often never make it into the final products. Their job is almost never to show us what the final product is. It's to get us excited about the possibilities we face.

Therefore, to berate Google for showing the possibilities and then saying "but right now, we aren't really at that point" is pretty damn hypocritical.

posted on 15 May 2012, 09:22 3

6. shadowcell (Posts: 300; Member since: 28 Mar 2012)


Concept cars are not intended to be a future model but rather a stencil on future designs (body, electrical, mechanical) and/or a auto manufacturer's direction.

In reality, there are so many roadblocks a company would have to go through in order to show you a finalized and production worthy product.

posted on 15 May 2012, 10:02 3

8. Sniggly (Posts: 6695; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


"not intended to be a future model but rather a stencil on future designs"

The original video WAS a concept, and not necessarily the final product.

Granted, it was probably a tactical error for Google to reveal Project Glass so early, but the idea was to get people excited about what Google has in mind.

posted on 15 May 2012, 09:57

7. Victor.H (Posts: 404; Member since: 27 May 2011)


Okay, fair enough, let me explain. First, let me say that I wasn't firing at Google solely, but rather at product companies making concept videos (hello, Microsoft!). Plus, I'm in no way saying something new - this has been brought up long ago from Gruber and others.

And no, I don't see the hypocrisy of accusing a product company of not making products. To clarify, a concept video is not a real product, it's a fake product, and that's not really a problem, but it's a good indication of lack of focus. And that already is a problem.

Why? To simplify things, Google is not a movie studio, it's a company that releases real services and in this case a real physical device. Releasing a real physical device requires effort and focus, and I don't see a concept video fitting in neither focus nor effort.

posted on 15 May 2012, 10:06 3

9. Sniggly (Posts: 6695; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


You still don't understand my point, Victor. Auto companies ALSO make real products and offer real services, and their concept cars show off a ton of ideas which may never make it to production. Why is it wildly irresponsible for Google to do the exact same thing as auto companies? Project Glass isn't a "fake product." It is coming to market, Google has made that clear.

Yes, the first production run may be more limited than what Google has indicated, but then again, so are production models of cars based on concepts. It doesn't mean that fully augmented reality won't be a reality with Project Glass ever.

posted on 15 May 2012, 10:27 1

10. Victor.H (Posts: 404; Member since: 27 May 2011)


I actually think I've already addressed it, but once again, I don't say that making concept videos is wildly irresponsible - what I say is that it shows a lack of focus towards a real product, and instead focus on an imaginary one. An even bigger lack of focus is to make such videos public - their place is in the design room. To illustrate this better, let's have Apple for example. It might have a futuristic 7-inch iPad in its labs, but it's not posting concept videos about it because it's focused on the real iPad. To clarify, the fake product is the concept video itself, not the glasses.

And the car industry is no exception!

posted on 15 May 2012, 10:40 2

11. Sniggly (Posts: 6695; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Sooo.... you have a problem with auto manufacturers showing off concept cars at gala events, claiming that it shows a lack of focus on real products, when the purpose behind concept cars (and videos!) has been clearly explained?

It's not like the engineers behind Project Glass actually MADE the video we've seen-no, Google's PR department or an outside firm did. Basically, one day some Google execs sat down with the guys who would make the video and said "Look, we have this product, it's a prototype right now, but here's where we eventually want to be with it, and we would like to get people excited about it NOW, so we build some hype for this."

Google is a multi billion dollar company with thousands of employees. If they want to devote ten people and a couple hundred grand (at most) to making a teaser video to build hype about a product they actually intend to release, then they can do that, and there's nothing wrong with it.

If it was Google's engineers themselves who sat down and spent time making the video, then yes, I would agree with you. But those engineers are very likely VERY focused on bringing the product to market that is in that video.

posted on 15 May 2012, 10:51 2

13. shadowcell (Posts: 300; Member since: 28 Mar 2012)


Totally different industries and they can't just simply be compared so loosely.

Project Glass was a great idea, much like the previous ones, that was founded by the Google X Lab aka "Willy Wonka factory". They do their best to change the world and your lifestyle with innovative inventions but it doesn't mean it'll happen any time soon.

I think you're mislead on the definition of a concept. It's merely an idea, plan or something intangible. Automobile manufacturers present physical full scale models as concepts to improve the stimulation and more importantly because bringing drawings, sketches and computer rendered videos to an auto show would be crude.

I'm sorry for driving this article away from the topic but I just felt I needed to say my piece.

posted on 15 May 2012, 15:12 1

19. jabberwocky (Posts: 89; Member since: 21 Feb 2012)


Gotta agree with the critics on this one Victor. Well, the other critics.

A concept video would take very little time from the team actually building the product, and it gets information out into the market. Showcasing the videos on Google+ also allows them to obtain feedback.

A communication plan is a critical component of all product development, and a concept video may or may not be appropriate depending on the product. I agree it sounds dumb for cars, not so much for this.

There is another component to product development that is neither focus nor effort (depending on how you define effort), and that is: vision. Without it, there is no product. I think this video communicates their vision for this product, and to understand how the market sees their vision is a worthwhile activity in my opinion.

After all, if we have no respect for those communicating the vision of a product, how could we respect a critic who contributes to neither focus, effort or vision, but merely criticize every move a company makes when they try to do new things?

Also, this is an innovative product. Focus can be an enemy of innovation. Innovation is about trying new things that are so different that it is hard to be sure it will work.

I think it would have made more sense for you to say "Google reps set low expectations for Project Glass, so I think it's going to suck" than to criticize them for making a video. The larger narrative you have created to deliver these facts (that the recent statements from Google appear to paint a more conservative first version in contrast to the video) just doesn't seem to fit.

posted on 15 May 2012, 09:10 2

5. Sniggly (Posts: 6695; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


As illustration of what I'm talking about, here are some concept cars which were never even built, let alone watered down for production:

BMW M1

http://images.thecarconnection.com/med/bmw-m1-concept-to-appear-at-villa-deste-concours_100213170_m.jpg

Corvette Four Rotor

http://images.thecarconnection.com/med/1972_chevrolet_corvette_four_rotor_100011478_m.jpg

Maserati Birdcage

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_dXE63lwcSrk/TGwCGjuR8DI/AAAAAAAACYU/ghGjHNXCpGY/s1600/Maserati+Birdcage+Fast+Car.jpg

Jeep Hurricane

http://static.ddmcdn.com/gif/jeep-hurricane-19.jpg

Cadillac Sixteen (yes, a SIXTEEN CYLINDER ENGINE was the idea)

http://www.madle.org/cad16a.JPG

Then, we have some concepts that were modified extensively before reaching market:

Nissan Quest concept

http://dayerses.com/data_images/posts/nissan-quest-concept/nissan-quest-concept-02.jpg

Production

http://dayerses.com/nissan-quest.html

Chevy Volt concept

http://automotivzcontest.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/chevrolet-volt-20091.jpg

Production

http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com/media/2008/09/03_voltlive_opt.jpg

I'm sure there are some who are bigger car enthusiasts than me who can list even more examples too.

posted on 15 May 2012, 14:40

17. beatsandmelody (Posts: 109; Member since: 01 Nov 2011)


Re: Cadillac Sixteen

Thank goodness they didn't build that, it would've been a serious junker. First, too many moving parts / heat / wear for Caddy engineers to figure out and second, too many stupid Caddy owners who only change their oil every 10k+ miles with standard oil.

Luckily, we got a 16 cylinder car in the Bugatti Veyron. AND, they slapped 4 turbochargers on to that beast! :O

posted on 15 May 2012, 14:43

18. Sniggly (Posts: 6695; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Yeah, but Bugatti's 16 cyl is only two V8s strapped together. :P I know it's more than that, but it's not a true, built from scratch V16.

There used to actually be a 16 cylinder Caddy in production. And hell, most WW2 piston fighters were driven by V12s and V16s. If it could be done then, why not now?

posted on 15 May 2012, 10:49

12. MorePhonesThanNeeded (Posts: 618; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


No need for argument, concept videos are usually something that is around what the creator is aiming for, it is not at all representative of the final product within the time constraints. I love concepts simply because they are usually wild and beyond what we deem practical but as time progresses they don't seem as impractical as you first thought. Besides even if the concept never sees the light of day, there are many reasons their existence is good, the designs are retooled and used in upcoming products(car manufactures do this quite often), lots of ideas are gleaned from concepts.

Only complete idiots or those who aren't very realistic think that the concept is exactly what you would see. Dreams are meant to be realized, but if you don't have something to shoot for what is the point? Keep the concepts coming, human is better off continuously thinking outside the box and not conforming to stalwarts ideas of practicality for the sake of being practical. If you want every conceptual video to be completely practical and within the realm of possibility then you are one very boring individual for the simple reason you have no idea what will be possible tomorrow. Modern cellphone revolution is proof of that, these things are already reaching the levels of desktop computers and yet they have the portability that a laptop is jealous of, keep the concepts rolling. I prefer to dream than stay in some stagnant fenced in practical train of thought, imagine if inventors thought like that...we would probably now using logs to move heavy objects from place to place and utilizing animal and man power.

posted on 15 May 2012, 10:59

14. bruisingfour (Posts: 10; Member since: 17 Dec 2011)


I can see both points, but I personally believe that a concept video isn't showing a lack of focus, it is gaining customer interest and feedback as to what people would like it it have or don't want it to have. Also it is pointing the designers to what the end result of the product should come close to being capable of.

posted on 15 May 2012, 13:08

15. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6115; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


Just release those glasses already GOOGLE!

posted on 15 May 2012, 14:34

16. joaolx (Posts: 341; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)


I was already hoping this. I think mainly do to the fact that the screen is so small that it could never that kind of interface. I just hope they take as long as they can to perfect it. For video chatting how is it possible for someone to see your whole face. I think it wouldn't work well.
http://www.engadget.com/2012/05/15/google-project-glass/
I also think they promised to much on the concept video.

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