Google Goggles: 4G Streaming Glasses, Seriously?

Google Goggles – nice play on words. As rumors go, this one is pretty far out there.

It’s being widely reported both online and through major broadcast networks that Google will come out with a new product called Google Goggles by the end of 2012.

From the descriptions provided, Google Goggles sound like an Android device a person wears on their face like glasses. The glasses have a heads up display on the lens. It would display streaming information about whatever the user is looking at. Perhaps a user could look at the front of a restaurant and pull up a menu, or reviews. Or use face recognition to ID a person the user is looking at… maybe bring up their Google+ or Facebook profile, even display a list of mutual friends  (a bit creepy, eh?).

According to some reports, the goggles include a motion sensor so the user can give commands to the device with a shake, a nod, a jiggle one way or another.

One has to wonder though… just how would this work in real life. How would such a device work so that a person wouldn’t walk in front of a car, stroll head on into a lamp post, step in a hole or smack right into another person, when their eyes are focused on a screen just an inch in front of their eyes? Remember the woman who was humiliated last year after walking into a fountain at a mall while looking at her phone? Get ready to see much more of that if Google Goggles are being accurately described.

Some of those reporting on this rumor are 9to5Google, the New York Times, DailyTech, Forbes, FoxNews, MSNBC, and hundreds more each time we look.

The price for the glasses is said to be somewhere between $250 and $600. And, of course, something like that would need a data plan as well. Google Goggles are reported to be 3G/4G enabled.

Here at NFS, we can imagine something like this used in certain professions at certain times. Or for some game/roleplaying fun. Or perhaps for the visually impaired.

But as an everyday, ‘regular Joe’ type of thing. Hard to imagine. There are just so many safety concerns. Plus, well, just how much information can the eyes take in all at one time, at how many focus levels, before a massive headache ensues?

Besides, Google already has a Google Goggles product, and you don’t wear it.

So for now, we will just report this as a rumor that others are reporting on. But when things firm up either way, we’ll let you know.

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Faroh Sauder has spent more than 30 years working as a journalist and educator. He has written on politics, international affairs, civil rights, and consumer education. Now mostly retired, Faroh continues to stay current on tech and consumer issues and reports on his interests here at News For Shoppers.