Today Google got its three pending patents approved for those creepy yet awesome (yet mostly creepy) augmented reality glasses it announced in April. Looking at the patents, via Endgadget's Sharif Sakr we see all sorts of crazy ideas for what Google had in mind that don't line up with the actual glasses we're seeing come out of Google. Even that video we saw in late April made these things look more future-wow than the actual prototypes, at least according to the information from the Google+ page dedicated to the project and some Google insiders via an interview with CNet.
The Design Wont Look So Terminator Robot Apocalyptic
At least one reason these goggles freaked the Internet out is that they looked too sci-fi in Google's inaugural video and patents. Wearing a computer on one's face like a pair of sunglasses screams Terminator, which suggests a post-apocalyptic world in which robots have taken over the planet, leaving humanity on the brink of extinction. It's not a very fun association. As you can see from the patent drawing below, the idea nearly went in that creepy direction. It's like wearing a computer on your face, which blocks out reality -- all the time. It's like those computer chip brains our grandparents are always saying we'll have in the future.
But the real-life version of these guys isn't so intrusive, it turns out. The pair Google cofounder Sergey Brin was spotted wearing out to dinner recently didn't take over his face, looking more like a nerdy visor. A Google spokesperson also confirmed that design to CNet's Rafe Needleman, saying the computer part would hit the brow-line "about where the edge of an umbrella might be," an anonymous Google person told Needleman.
So Far, It's All Photos
For all their creepiness, these goggles could have been cool if they did useful things. But, so far, according to the Google+ product page, these look like glasses that can take hands-free photos. The G+ page has one of Charlie Rose and another of the wearer, Sebastian Thrund playing with his kid. Kind of cool, but not exactly the futuristic augmented reality stuff we saw in the video. No friend-location updates, no reminders, no weather updates, no texts, no social networking -- no nothing.
So far, neither creepy nor awesome. But maybe that's a good thing, as this video has creepy compromising the awesome.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.