Augmented Reality Headsets Aren't Far Off

Augmented reality headsets with heads up displays (HUD) are just around the corner if the stop gap technology that we're seeing now is anything to go by.

The guys are Wired have been testing out some Android media player specs that certainly look like augmented reality glasses at first glance. They're not quite at that stage yet, but this is a media player that has transparent screens as lenses, allowing the viewer to see what's behind whatever media he's viewing.

This is exactly the sort of thing that heads up displays of our gaming youth were based on. In the future there's no reason that soldiers couldn't have information such as ammo counts, grenade indicators on screen all the time whilst still performing their tasks. The same goes for all of us. While I'm writing, why not have my email notification at the bottom of my vision. Imagine social networking with twitter alerts that pop up in your eyeline instead of in your inbox. The possibilities are massive and we're almost there.

Google isn't far away either. I reported the other day on the augmented reality specs that the search giant is putting together. Unfortunately rumours suggest that the displays used won't be translucent or transparent and that a camera will be utilised to simulate the feel of proper augmented reality.

This is once again a fancy stop gap, but the true implementation of this sort of headset isn't far away. Imagine a few years from now when your phone is completely implemented in it. Gesture controls replace touch, allowing you to see your phone screen in-front of your eyes, controlling it by hand but there not being a phone there at all. You look around and your world is transformed based on what you're looking at. They'll be a virtual world, a real one that lives alongside the traditional one.

At least Gerard Butler will know what he's doing though. Bruce Willis with his surrogate will probably do alright for a while too - he'll have hair at least.