Tech Watch: Go Go Google Gadgets

Category:  Tech Watch
Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012 at 9:28 AM
Tech Watch: Go Go Google Gadgets by Angela Kelly

Self-driving cars and Sci-Fi glasses? These new gadgets sound like technology you would find in “Back to the Future.” For all of you Marty McFly and Doc Brown fans, this technology isn’t all that far out of reach. In recent weeks, Google has been in the news for many of their innovations including self-driving automobile testing and the reveal of their “Google Glasses” right out of the Google X Laboratory. 

The week of April 23 the Internet giant was visiting the Motor City to speak at the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) conference. Anthony Levananowski, who is directly involved in Google’s ambitious project to develop software and sensors to allow vehicles to drive themselves, said that throughout the coming years his team plans to test drive “millions of miles” on the road. Google is in search of partners to bring its innovation to the market within the next decade.

“We’re talking to every car company to see what their level of excitement is,” said Levananowski while speaking to thousands at the SAE World Congress.  Levananowski admits Google hasn’t figured out exactly how it will use the automaton car technology though, considering options including partnerships with car makers, aftermarket installations, or even free as a part of a “Googley” bundle.

Recently, BMW unveiled its own autonomous driving technology – ConnectedDrive Connect (CDC). Their self-driving automobile technology includes a large number of sensors to assist in negotiating traffic. But the cost and reliability of sensors to detect hazards around the car make for a few roadblocks before this car will be on the road with no driver behind the wheel. You can rest assured, Erie Reader readers, that Google has every intention to safely and inexpensively have its car on the road within the next decade. 

The company also has revealed its new eye-wear, Google Glasses, bringing your Internet experiences to life like never before. The project, Project Glass, has been underway in the secretive Google X lab. Sebastian Thrun, one of the primary Google engineers working in the lab, appeared on PBS’ “The Charlie Rose Show” to discuss Google’s “glasses.” Thrun was the first Google employee to appear on television wearing a prototype of Google’s Heads-Up Display (HUD) specs, showing off the glasses for the entire interview.

These glasses are not your typical Prada designer glasses, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be stylish before they hit the shelves. 

Features of the glasses include smartphone capabilities, day planner, turn-by-turn navigation system, camera, and more. Users can take photos through the front camera on the glasses; once they capture the image, they can share the photo to their Circles on Google+ with a simple nod of the head. This feature aligns with the way other HUD headsets can be manipulated: tracking correspondent eye and head movement in up, down, left, and right directions. Google stated that the glasses will not be available by the end of the year, like recent reports indicated. The launch of these high-tech spectacles is no longer a matter of If but When.

Google is now becoming a thought-leader in innovation, much like Apple, but how far will this Internet mogul be able to take its visions? It’s only a matter of time to see how these new pieces of technology will integrate themselves into the everyday lives of ordinary consumers. 

Before we know it, everyone will have windows that are computer screens and housewives will be replaced with robot butlers! Wait, what is that? We already have those?! I feel like I’m living in the space age more and more each day!

Tags: google

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