We've been hearing things about Google Glass, the Google-powered eyeball accessory, for a while now. While the device isn't quite ready for consumers (and won't be for a while), we got an extensive look at what these devices can do... right after Google-hired stuntmen jumped out of an airplane while on a Glass-based Hangout, then proceeded to bike across rooftops, rappel down the side of the Moscone Conference Center, and finally bike into the I/O keynote to deliver the device on stage to Sergey Brin. This is the first product announcement in recent memory where someone could have feasibly died during a demo. Bad-ass.

Update #1: Here's a video of some of their practice jumps:

Update #2: We can all now relive the Google Glass demo from I/O through this 11min video:

We still haven't gotten a demo of how the UI works, although Sergey hinted that showing it off would be difficult to accomplish. Nevertheless, it is nothing short of awe-inspiring to see a live, group video feed from 10,000 feet in the air. The device is certainly powerful.

Of course, such a dramatic paradigm shift is not so easily accomplished, and Google, the company best known for being open to letting users beta test its unfinished products, is being remarkably timid with Glass. The device is going to be made available to non-Google personnel, but only those in attendance at Google I/O, and for the cost of $1500.

This is clearly not a consumer device just yet. We still have a long ways to go before us plebeians get our hands on them. However, Google is not making any secret of its desire to get the world's info as close to your brain as possible.

And with product demos like today's show, it's hard not to get excited.

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • Myria

    Wake me up when it's more than a funky looking Gopro at one hundred times the price.

    • aplusjimages

      Well wake up because the GoPro is just a camera while Google Glass can make calls, connect to the web, and offers GPS capabilities. Last time I checked GoPros sold for about $300 so its only 5 time more.

    • Anoop M K

      If someone has made a glass does that mean not one should venture there? If that was the attitude then Android it self is a rip off of all the phones previously in existence. If you did watch the I/O then you could have seen the difference between them. Criticism is very much different from plain bitching

    • Anoop M K

      If someone has made a glass does that mean not one should venture there? If that was the attitude then Android it self is a rip off of all the phones previously in existence. If you did watch the I/O then you could have seen the difference between them. Criticism is very much different from plain bitching

  • maxkobi

    lets be real then, what is a real life release date for these? definitely amazing and something i will want. that video and demo completely blew my world wide open!

  • r3drox

    im hazarding a guess that they will be ready at next year's I/O

    • http://www.facebook.com/hudspeth Mathew Hudspeth

      Calling it right now: That's what they're giving away at the keynote next IO.

  • Sqube

    Uhh... I'm going to have to be that guy. They rappelled down the building, they didn't repel down it.

    I'm so sorry.

    • Nick LaVeaux

      Someone needed to do it.  It's okay.  In fact, it's appreciated.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      I blame the French. Updated.

  • http://twitter.com/sam1am John Samuel αΩ

    This was the best product introduction I've ever seen. 

  • Debtac20

    That Isabel presenter for Glass was god-awful. She sounded like she was about to bust out crying..Someone give the memo to her that looks don't beat out substance.

    • Jeremy Powers

      It was most likely her first time on stage in front of thousands (streaming + live people) you would be a bit nervous as well. not to mention look what she had to follow, skydiving, rappelling and her own CEO.

  • http://twitter.com/rohanXm Rohan Mathur

    Your turn, Apple. Oh wait...

  • tookieboy

    they're probably timid because this thing costs 1.5k and it could go wrong in many ways

  • http://twitter.com/_eliasalberto Elias

    You guys definitely gotta have this in mind, or you're gonna be disappointed: it's not gonna look ANYTHING like the videos we've already seen on the web, where the UI overlays the entire visual field - simply because google glass does NOT occupy a relevant portion of your visual field (more like 10%, maybe less). Watch movies, browse the web? Forget it. How do you even hope to interact with it, anyway? Expect it to appear to you as big as a 14 inch laptop screen when 3 feet away from your face. Also, expect god-awful resolution, maybe VGA or less - which is enough for some information on-the-go and video conference, but definitely not usable for web browsing, etc. This gadget isn't gonna substitute any of your current gadgets, but it'll be a welcome addition to them. I see these glasses more like an additional way to interact with your main android device.

    I don't expect it to work standalone, without a phone, tablet or other more powerful Android device to do the "processor heavy lifting" and power-demanding data connections for it. I'm guessing it will connect to your phone/tablet through bluetooth and let it take all decisions, do all processing, etc. Because of battery, high-power communication (such as mobile data) seem unlikely. It would most likely rely on local low-power communication, probably bluetooth, maybe wifi. Bluetooth 3.0/4.0 would allow bandwidth enough to stream heavier data such as video to the display and from the camera. Maybe this device could even be usable without a phone, but then google would be relying on their cloud's processing power to give general directions on what the glasses should do.

    My guess is that they haven't shown any actual UI footage yet because UI is currently minimal and disappointing. They may even be holding back the final product in order to have processing power improve a bit more before the glasses are ready to launch. If you can't really interact with it (where are the buttons, sensors, etc?), there isn't even a point on having a complex UI. Currently, it's fair to expect its display to do pretty much what a bluetooth watch connected to your phone can do (show time, caller id, track id, sms, notifications and remember appointments, maybe some lo-res image, probably video hangouts), and interaction will be mainly through Google Now - it guesses what you want to know, then presents it to you, and you can provide input to it only via voice commands - which are processed on google's servers anyway.

    Now, on our current technology state, will you deem this gadget unnecessary prematurely? You'd better remember a few years ago most people didn't even had the smartphone concept in their minds.
    Where's this project headed? I guess nowadays technology is still immature to put so much functionality in such a tiny thing. But, in about 3 to 5 years, we might be just on the technological sweet spot to have these glasses working as we've been dreaming for a few decades. By then, the glasses will probably have dual display (allowing 3D view),  and it's very likely that the resolution and size of the display will also be much greater. What will be the coolest part, though, is we'll have dual cameras on the glass and our cellphones will be powerful and energy-efficient enough to process 3D-imaging in real time, allowing for gesture recognition. So, you'll be able to be virtually immersed in a 3D environment and interact with it using your arms and hands. Just stop and REALLY think how cool is that!

  • Chee Wee Chua

    Hasn't anyone heard of Looxcie ( http://www.looxcie.com ) ???

  • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

    I remember when I was growing up, the people that everybody envied most were rockstars, actors, and the military (back when the marketing campaigns made them look like everything they did was super-awesome and didn't involve living in the desert). After this, it reminds us that the new crazy awesome stuff might actually be coming from the geekier side of life.