April 5 - In an effort called Project Glass the world's biggest search engine is working on glasses with a computer screen. The specs, though just prototypes, are already stirring controversy. Jeanne Yurman reports.
Google is getting into fashion with Project Glass. In a video released on Google+ the world's biggest search engine gave a sneak peek at wearable technology--glasses with a see-through computer screen. The specs would allow users to do things like take photos, get block-by-block directions, or receive a pop-up alert if a friend is nearby. CNET.com's Senior Editor, Bridget Carey explains how it works: SOUNDBITE: BRIDGET CAREY, SENIOR EDITOR, CNET.COM SAYING (ENGLISH): "Expect the computing muscle power to be connected to the phone you're carrying, the Google Android phone you're carrying through a Bluetooth connection. And the glasses would be talking to the phone in your pocket and therefore, relaying the info in your line of sight." The wraparound shades are merely a prototype but are already sparking controversy over privacy issues. Smartphones can already track a user's activity and whereabouts. But Google's glasses could provide something else...a visual record. SOUNDBITE: BRIDGET CAREY, SENIOR EDITOR, CNET.COM SAYING (ENGLISH): "We're kind of like in a Wild West right now when it comes to our privacy and what information we're sending out and what companies are doing with it. So these are all questions that Google would have to answer and be very specific about if they were going to launch something like this." Beyond privacy there are also questions about practicality. SOUNDBITE: BRIDGET CAREY, SENIOR EDITOR, CNET.COM SAYING (ENGLISH): "You look at all the things it could do to benefit your life, you know, getting an alert quick, change your route on your way to work so you're not late. That sounds kind of neat or perhaps, you know, getting information about something you're looking at. But then you think what are all the bad implications here? Here's another thing in our faces to distract us while were driving, while we're talking to our friends. Do we really need something like this?" These questions may or may not be answered. For now the sneak peak at these glasses is like one massive focus group for Google as it gauges responses amongst consumers and the media. The company is mum on when or whether Project Glass will produce an actual retail product. Jeanne Yurman, Reuters.