No one expected a Google I/O without some presence of Project Glass, however, attendees perhaps received a little more than they bargained for. Google launched its introduction to the new glasses technology with an over-the-top, energetic performance, demonstrating video conferencing through a web interface, talking to Project Glass devices, several thousand feet up in the air, as team members prepared a sky dive over the conference building, to then be joined by bike stuntists and abseiling extravaganza.
The entire event was designed to highlight some interesting facets over the current state of the Project Glass design, however. Aside from the use as a wireless streaming device, the stunt helped Google to demonstrate just how secure and unobtrusive the current prototype was and, provide some great examples of the benefits of a first-person perspective.
During the conference it was revealed that the current prototype, beyond the obvious camera and screen, featured a surprisingly powerful CPU, lots of memory, a touch-strip along the side and a top button; microphones, speakers, multiple radios, a gyroscope, accelerometer, compass and several other components you didn't think could fit into such a small device, let alone remain powered for any extended period.
Google went on to say that despite all these features, the current Project Glass prototype weighed less on the nose than most sunglasses... very impressive! Though there was wiggle room in this, suggesting that some of the weight is taken by the ear, with the battery likely sitting towards the end of the device.
The firm highlighted that the philosophy behind Project Glass was for something unobtrusive, that wasn't in the way of life, but with the ultimate aim of offering up information and connectivity that feels completely natural. It was revealed that the device will continue to feature an extensible, single-sided design, allowing room for changes and customisations and the easy production of a variety of frame types.
Beyond simple social posting of images and video, Google didn't introduce us to any new software functionality, however, to everyone's surprise, the firm announced a $1,500 'Glass Explorer Edition', exclusively for attendees, to ship early next year, allowing them to sit on the bleeding edge of Project Glass development and help play an active roll in forming its future. With this, the deal was sealed, Project Glass is most certainly not ready for general release and, we suspect it won't be until 2014 at the earliest, however, with this roll-out to developers, there's no doubt, Project Glass is no longer a pipe-dream or a developer's toy, it's coming.