Google begins testing ‘Terminator’-style smartphone glasses

Google on Wednesday unveiled Project Glass, a secret program designed to bring augmented-reality to the masses.

The team leading the initiative, including Babak Parviz, Steve Lee and Sebastian Thrun, are part of Google’s clandestine Google X labs, a branch of the company that focuses on futuristic tech and big picture concepts, such as space elevators, robots and driverless cars.

Now with the project ready for public testing, the team has begun releasing fresh information, including a new video, on their Google + page with requests for feedback.

“We’re sharing this information now because we want to start a conversation and learn from your valuable input,” the team wrote in a post. “Please follow along as we share some of our ideas and stories. We’d love to hear yours, too. What would you like to see from Project Glass?”

According to a February report from the NYTimes, Google’s new Android-powered glasses will allow you to check your email, update your Facebook, or even check-in to your favorite restaurant. The device creates a direct link to your smartphone, providing real-time information in a heads-up display (HUD).

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It is the company’s first official venture into wearable computing.

With its 3G or 4G data connection, GPS, and numerous environmental sensors, the glasses could be a boon for augmented reality and wearable technology. Integration with Google services and your smartphone means walking to work may never be more productive.

One new feature is an integrated navigation system, as described by 9 to 5 Google blogger, Seth Weinthrub, who first discovered the project in December.

“The navigation system currently used is a head tilting to scroll and click,” Mr. Weintraub wrote on his blog. “We are told it is very quick to learn and once the user is adept at navigation, it becomes second nature and almost indistinguishable to outside users.”

Reports suggest the new smart goggles will feature a built-in camera, cost in the region of $250 to $600.

The new product looks to be part of a long term strategy to expand the Android platform to as many devices possible. Last year the company announced Android@Home, a push to connect "every appliance in your home."

“As an open platform,” said Google director of product management Hugo Barra, “Android was always meant to go well beyond the mobile phone.”