Google Glass creator sees something smaller, faster and less awkward

Babak Parviz lays out Google's goals for an improved version of the device

Google Glass creator Babak Parviz, pictured July 8, 2014, discusses Google's goals for the technology.

Google Glass creator Babak Parviz, pictured July 8, 2014, discusses Google's goals for the technology.

Google has big hopes for its Glass head-mounted computer, chief among them a desire to make the unit smaller and more comfortable to wear.

Those were just a couple of the goals for a polished version of the device laid out Tuesday by Babak Parviz, the creator of Glass, who is also the director of Google's "X" special projects division.

"Essentially we'd like to make the technology disappear," he said during a conference on wearable technology in San Francisco.

"It should be non-intrusive" and as comfortable to wear as regular glasses or a wristwatch, he said.

Shrinking the unit would require advances in optics and photonics, he said. More computing power is also needed to make the device faster at answering people's questions on the fly, Parviz said.

Google is also looking at new ways to interact with the device, which currently can be done both through voice commands and by tapping the unit.

Glass is currently a beta product that Google calls the "Explorer" edition, though it can be purchased online for US$1,500. A polished version aimed at the broad consumer market could launch next year.

Google is positioning Glass as the next big thing beyond smartphones, partly by providing easier and faster access to information.

Since the unit's unveiling in 2012, it has attracted the attention of early adopters who see the promise in Google's pitch. But it has also prompted questions and some criticism, including privacy concerns related to its camera and doubts about how useful it actually is.

In San Francisco, some people have been attacked for wearing the device out in public.

Parviz did not directly address Glass' critics, but he did say that the version of Glass that exists now is "a nice, solid first step to where we want to go."

Moreover, the amount of information that Glass is capable of gathering about its wearers is a key advantage, Parviz said. Glass gathers information about its users based on how they use it, and by being paired with their smartphones. The unit also has components like an accelerometer and gyroscope inside.

A major goal, Parviz said, is to employ those various technologies to make information immediately accessible to the wearer.

"Glass is very aware of the user," he said. "There's consequences to that, and things to consider and be careful about. But there's also opportunity for a computer that's very close to the person."

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesconsumer electronicsGoogleemerging technologymobileinternet

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?