New Yorkers keen on Google's glasses

Google

Google (Credit: iStock)

Your glasses may someday replace your smartphone, and some New Yorkers are ready for the switch.

Google is building a smartphone-like pair of specs that will function as a computer you wear on your nose - tiny screen and all - likely with maps, GPS and other apps, according to The New York Times and Google blog 9to5google.com, and some in the city can't wait to the try them on.

"People would wear them 24/7," said Walter Choo, 40, of Fort Greene. "I'd use it if I were hanging out with friends at 3 a.m. and going the bar and wanted to see what was open."

"If you're driving, it's great. You don't have to look at your phone for directions," added Cynthia Lynn, 26, of Harlem.

"I'd love to see it," said Felipe Sanabria, 22, of the Bronx. "I'd wear them."

The glasses will likely come out this year and likely cost between $250 to $600, the Times reported, and could possibly use some variation of augmented reality, a technology already available on smartphones and tablets that overlays information onto the screen about one's surroundings.

So, for example, you could walk down a street and indicators would pop up showing you the nearest coffee shop or pizza place, or directions could be plotted out and appear right on the sidewalk in front of you.

Still, Google - which did not return calls for comment - is reportedly unsure if it will produce the device for the mass-market -- and some experts aren't sure if a market for the specs even exists.

"As far as a mainstream consumer product, this just isn't something anybody needs," said Sam Biddle, who writes for Gizmodo.

"We're accustomed to having one thing in our pocket to do all these things," Biddle said, "and the average consumer isn't gonna be able to afford another device that's hundreds and hundreds of dollars."

Seth Weintraub, publisher of 9to5Google, has been reporting on the glasses since late last year, and that despite the far-out, sci-fi hype and perception of a computer in your glasses, eventually this type of wearable device will be as common as a smartphone.

"Initially it'll just be techies," he said of people who will want a pair, "but it's just like smartphones 10 years ago. A few people started getting emails on their phones and people thought that was nuts. Same kind of thing."

He added that wearable devices are likely the next evolution of how we'll interact with technology.

"The broader category of wearable is ripe for the picking," he said. "See people bending their heads to look at their smartphones and it's unnatural. ... There's gonna be improvements to that, and this a step there."

(with Amanda Dallas)

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Though very little is known about what the Google glasses will do, it's generally thought that they will share some functionality with augmented reality apps on smartphones, which, among other things, can overlay information about a person's surroundings in real time.

-- The glasses will likely resemble the bulky Oakley Thumps glasses, according to 9to5google.com, and will have a single screen to the side of one of the lenses.

-- Users will interact with the gadget by tilting their heads, the New York Times reported, and it will also have a camera to monitor the wearer's surroundings, the Times said.

-- They're also expected to have a bevy of sensors, along with GPS and 3G or 4G data connectivity.


Follow reporter Tim Herrera on Twitter: @tim_herrera

Tags: Entertainment , Tim Herrera , Google , seeing future , google glasses

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