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In defense of crazy technology

Wed, 02/06/2013 - 4:22pm
Kasey Panetta, Associate Editor

Source: http://a.abcnews.com/images/Technology/ap_google_glasses_kb_120627_wg.jpgAlright, I’ll admit it. I’m a bit of a technological dreamer.

I’ve seen my fair share of pipe-dream technology—easily created, easily dismissed—but most days are a roving door of surprisingly innovative, potentially life-changing, incredibly awesome designs. In general, I tend to be a bit jaded, some might say curmudgeonly, but when it comes to technology, I’m all about what’s new.

It’s easy to join the critics and complain that solar energy will never be viable or Boeing’s Dreamliner will never fly. But, isn’t it so much fun to think — yeah, it has issues, but if we champion this technology, we could make it great. You can’t quit before you even start.

Which brings me—though I could spend hours defending the Dreamliner because have you seen that thing—to Google Glass.

I was originally pretty critical of the whole initiative, mostly because I stare at a screen all day already and my eyes are shot by the end of it. But, now I’ve been drawn in by the ingenuity of the device. I’m sorry I ever doubted you, Google.

To quote my original article, “The idea behind the project is creating light-weight augmented-reality glasses that allow the user to access apps, information, messages, texts, and basically anything else available on a smart phone without the bulky interface.”

The system has a 1.3-cm screen over your right eye that becomes clear when you focus on it, according to an article in Time that labeled the glasses as one of the top tech products of 2012.

The newest development on the glasses is arguably the coolest. One of the problems with having a glasses/computer hybrid is sound. You don’t want to wear headphones because that will block out all the environmental noises and isn’t really a practical option for everyday wear. Speakers could make the design bulkier and too loud.

So, the system will utilize bone-conduction technology to transmit sounds, according to patents filed with the FCC.

According to Wired, “The papers reference an ‘integral vibrating element that provides audio to the user via contact with the user's head.’ This means that by vibrating the bones near the ear the headset can generate sound without blocking out environmental noise.”

The upside to this technique is that it doesn’t hinder your hearing. You could wear them while walking or moving and you would be able to hear what was going on around you as well as what your glasses were saying. It could eliminate a lot of accidents that happen when people are simply unaware of what’s happening around them.

This is one of those technologies that might never amount to anything, but it's just so awesome, you have to admire the design.The company says they'll be commercially available in 2014, so everyone should start saving your pennies now; innovation doesn't come cheap.

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