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Google Glasses: Coming Soon?


Google Goggles are taking a whole new meaning, as Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) works to expand its reach in a myriad of directions. Yesterday, we told you about the upcoming tech from the search giant that would allow you to control live TV via your smartphone. Now, the company is looking to make your entire field of vision, not just the screen of your devices, a canvass for its search results and advertisement. Enter the Google glasses!

Taking cues from head-up displays available in several automobiles, a pair of glasses tested by Google's X Labs will present information on screens superimposed on the inside of your lenses. In its Bits blog, The New York times has learned from anonymous sources associated with the lab that the devices are likely Android-based, with 3G or 4G data connection, camera and sensors to include motion and user location.

The thought is that glasses would detect what the user is looking at, and produce relevant information and advertisement. Say you are walking down the street, look at a restaurant sign, and immediately, their menu, current specials, and likely a Yelp rating pop into your direct fiend of vision. All you had to do was look up; no pulling up your smartphone or, God forbid, look at the menu or even step inside. Examples of such conveniences are too numerous to try here.

Privacy, security and ethical concerns are likely to arise, according to ExtremeTech. “The phrase “tracking cookie” takes on a whole new meaning when Google also correlates your real-world activities with your online presence,” says the site's Sebastian Anthony.

On the other end, users have shown tremendous flexibility when it comes to trading privacy for convenience, putting their security and the integrity of their information on the good faith of technology. Will these glasses test the limits of that compromise? Hard to tell, but would not put it past earlier adopters to usher in acceptance and eventual large-scale demand.

Not to mention the clear advantages such a product does present for certain types of professions which deal with currently-handheld data as a vital part of their profession. Doctors, engineers and line manufacturers are but a small percentage of professionals that would welcome such a degree of connectivity and literally hands-off approach to information.

Clearly, the benefit or practicality of these glasses, then, is of a tiered nature: different for various types of environment. Much like current regulation on texting or phone use (i.e. while driving), there will be opportunities for regulations to be instituted on where Google glasses can be used.

For Google, the benefit of the product is obvious, and goes beyond revenue on the product, which is said to be comparable in price to today's smartphones. Furthermore, in addition to deploying more ads, such deployment os more strategic, as it reaches the user in circumstances that lend to more action on what is being advertised. The analytic breadth and depth with regards to effectiveness of ads in real time is bottomless. Finally, to a lesser extent, Google may see improvement on its other products. Think of a more robust street-level in Google Maps, bolstered by literal eyes covering every geographical nook and cranny.

Google started with a simple mission: to digitize all the world's information library. With each new product concept, it is moving closer to digitizing the actual world.

In the mean time, GOOG shares closed at $614 yesterday, and are currently down to $610.

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