Google's Project Glass: Does It Even Need New Technology to Work?

By , dealnews Media Editor

By now, you've probably seen Google's video that shows off how its new Project Glass augmented-reality glasses will function. If not, it's pretty wild and you should definitely take a peek:

Pretty cool, right? But, since Google Glasses are not yet imminent, let us posit an alternative scenario for you! One in which this same fellow goes through the day without using Google Project Glass. We think it would go something ... like this:

FADE IN on a man waking up. He slips on his glasses. Wanting to know the time, he looks up at his wall clock. Then he walks over to his wall calendar to check his upcoming appointments — he sees he has plans to meet with his friend, Jess, tonight at 6:30.

Wanting to know the weather, he picks up the newspaper, which has the day's forecast printed on the cover in 4-color graphics. Ah! It's going to be 48 degrees, partly cloudy, with a 10% chance of rain!

While the man sits down to eat his breakfast noisily, making annoying "nom nom munch munch" noises of appreciation, even though no one but himself could possibly hear them, the phone rings. Picking it up, it's his buddy, Paul.
"Wanna meet up today?" his buddy says.
"Yah," he says, uncouthly, through a mouthful of food. "Meet me in front of Strand Books at 2," then he hangs up and continues to noisily eat until it's time to go meet his friend at the book shop.

Approaching the subway, an exiting commuter stops him and says, "Sorry, buddy! Subway service is suspended on the 6!"
"Thanks friendly stranger!" our man says, then takes out a map of the surrounding environs. He realizes that he was only 11 blocks away from the bookstore, anyway, and should've been walking there in the first place. Since the streets of NYC are a simple grid pattern, he can remember which turns to make, without having to consult his map again.

Think it's rare that anyone carries a map? Fine. Maybe the man asks a passing stranger, "Excuse me, kind sir, how does one get to The Strand Bookstore?" and is told, "Keep going until you hit 12th Street, then make a right. Can't miss it!"
"Thanks, helpful stranger!"

During his short walk, he stops to pet a dog, hoping there will be a place to wash his hands at the bookstore.

Continuing on, he sees a poster for an event he'd like to attend. He says, "Using my memory, I will rememeber this thing I am interested in seeing, how hard is that?!" He resumes his journey.

Arriving at the bookshop, he asks an employee, "Where's the music section?"
"Right back there, sir!"
"Thanks!" he says.
"My pleasure!" she replies, and they both conclude the interaction with an increased sense of well-being and self-worth. He walks to the music section and locates the book he wants and wonders, "Is Paul here, yet?" then continues, "He knows we're meeting in here and the store isn't that big that he wouldn't be able to find me ... but I'll wait near the front of the store, so he can find me easier! I'm a good friend!"

And there's Paul now! "Hey, dude? How's it goin'?" our man says. The two friends slam their outstretched hands into each other as a way of informal greeting. Paul replies, "Wanna go checkout that new place I was tellin' you about?" And even though Paul has a weird expression on his face — like he's trying to act like the man's friend, rather than being the man's actual friend — our hero says, "Sure!"

Leading him over to a coffee cart street vendor, Paul says, "This truck's really good!" but his tone makes it seem like he's lying.
"Just a second," our man says, then he turns to face the city and shouts, "I'M HERE!"
His location established, he says, "Cool." Paul goes on, "It's good to see you again." But, again, there is something insincere about his tone.
Their coffee time concluded, the man says, "See you, dude!" and Paul walks away.

Wandering alone, possibly contemplating his place in the universe, our man Paul spots a piece of graffiti on a building's door and remarks, "Whoa, cool!" even though it is derivative trash that Banksy wouldn't bat an eyelash at. But, he takes his polaroid camera out of his bag and snaps a picture of it. Shaking the photo — even though Polaroid has indicated this is unecessary, despite what Andre 3000 says — our man remarks, "I'll show this to my friends later!"

Looking at his watch, he realizes he's running late for his meet-up with Jess, so he hustles up some stairs until he gets to the roof. And there Jess is, waiting for him. They exchange face-to-face pleasantries until he takes out a Ukelele from somewhere and begins to play, assuming she likes ukelele music.

Overall, a very nice day! And no fancy technology was needed!

Yeah, we know the check-in / location sharing analog we came up with was a bit of a stretch. What can you do?!

Jeff Somogyi is the dealnews Media Editor. Read more of his "interesting" thoughts on Twitter or on his blog.

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 This, a thousand times. I will never eat at a Carl's Junior anyway, because of their other marketing fail; never saw the commercial you referenced, but it's all the more reason to never darken their door with my presence. Who are the idiots who design and greenlight these commercials?
 Well I didn't say the author was a Luddite or had an agenda against technology, I said I didn't like the Luddite slant of the article. Just being descriptive about the article itself. And sorry, but any article I see decrying the advent of this wonderful tech is going to have my two cents attached to it. :)  After trying to describe this to a number of people for several years, it is good that there is finally a video to illustrate the concept. Completely agree with you about the potential and utilization, and do regret that some will use this to amplify their hipster douchebaggery. :P
I thought the article was funny & not meant to be taken too seriously.  As a dealnews editorialist, I highly doubt that the editor is a luddite or has any agenda against technological advances.  I agree with you, though, that there must be better & more interesting uses for this technology than as a daytimer & facebook/google circles tool (who would want to be the tools or use the tool in the video?).
Couldn't agree more!  Is there anyone out there who enjoys hearing other people eat?  Do you remember those awful Carl's Junior commercials?  I couldn't change the channel fast enough (although I guess in fairness they were effective in that they're still in my head).  Seriously, though, if you don't want me to buy something, have a person smacking food or gum in the ad.  As for a google product to never hear it again - I would buy that in a heartbeat.  But for now, in the spirit of your article, I'd suggest earplugs.
Jeff Somogyi (DealNews)
Not sure if anyone could tell from my write-up, but the bit in the video that I REALLY felt the world could do without were the noises the man made while eating. Is there a Google product to help me NEVER HEAR THAT AGAIN?!
Oops, apologies for double post, please just approve the first one and not these other two. :)
I like most articles I read on Dealnews, but I really don't get the Luddite bent of this one. I am very excited about the potential for Augmented Reality glasses, and have been for a couple years now. I am completely geeking out now that commercial models are about to hit the market. Granted, most of my excitement is because of the gaming potential, and not the more mundane uses panned in the article, but still... I can't wait. Here is one man's vision of the potential for FPS gaming:
I like most of the articles on Dealnews, but I don't get the Luddite bent of this one. And I don't like it. Mostly because for a couple years, I have been all geeked out on the potential for Augmented Reality glasses, and now that some of them are coming into existence, I am even more hyped on it. Most of my excitement is due to the potential for gaming, admittedly, rather than the mundane uses panned in the article, but still... this is coming, and I can't wait.  Here is one man's vision of how it might play out within an FPS gaming scenario: ttp://]
I tend to agree that the glass project outlined in the
video would not drive a lot of customer demand and there are safety concerns
(can you imagine someone driving with those on?). However, the technology is intriguing.
Picture a student in human anatomy with them on examining a model of the
muscular system. As he looks at the different parts of the model the names of the
muscles and other information pop into view. How about at a museum? The museum
attendee puts them on and gets her own private tour at the pace she wants,
focused on the information she wants. Those are just a few ideas. I believe project
glass would fail if it is purely social focused. However, if you begin expanding
the purpose the possibilities are endless.
Didn't the People in WALL-E have one of these when they were on the Spaceship.  Didn't they realized in the end that life was better with out them.  Just a thought.
Lindsay Sakraida (DealNews)
I get that song stuck in my head too! And the worst part is, I'm pretty sure it's in another commercial... but I can't remember which one. 
If our man walked out without the google thing, he should get more chance talking to others, and for sure, get more chance meeting a pretty girl. 
So, this google thing good for "Married"s, but not for "Single"s
Great article!  Hilarious!  I don't think those glasses (and google circles) do much to enrich people's lives, but to each their own.  Sure wish I could get that annoying song out of my head, though.
Jeff Somogyi (DealNews)
"Don't buy it from a guy in a van" is a good rule for most things, actually.
Here's a revolutionary idea: accept that nobody cares that you buy your coffee from a guy in a van!
God forbid anybody actually remembers how to function without technology...