Skip to main content

DIY Project Glass Shows Google’s AR Specs Can Be Done

You're unlikely to have missed the fact that last week, Google unveiled its new Project Glass, the augmented reality spectacles which feature a head-up display that flashes information directly into the wearer's field of vision.

While a prototype version of the glasses was spotted being worn by Sergey Brin at a charity event, he later noted that they were months, if not years away from production - so it would seem there's still quite a wait yet.

However, some keen fans have taken to attempting to put together their own AR goggles, with one DIY effort from developer Will Powell perhaps showing that there is hope we might see Google's specs in the next year or so.

Powell used a pair of Vuzix glasses, Dragon Naturally Speaking for voice recognition, and a custom interface knocked up using Adobe AIR (and based on what Google showed off in its initial Project Glass teaser video). The DIY specs also use a mic headset and HD webcams.

A demo video shows Powell using the glasses to check the weather, make an appointment, and as Google did in its teaser clip, he instructs a photo to be taken, and then shares it across his Google+ circles.

Accusations of fakery have been hurled by some YouTube denizens, however, and indeed we did notice that at one point, the UI flashed up an element before Powell actually started speaking.

In response to those YouTube accusations, Powell said: "Thank you for the comments. I can reassure you that this is a real live application and is filmed in real time. All footage from the user's perspective is recorded directly."

The developer doesn't make it clear how the system is running, and there are certainly still plenty of questions which need to be answered.

Darren Allan

Darran has over 25 years of experience in digital and magazine publishing as a writer and editor. He's also an author, having co-written a novel published by Little, Brown (Hachette UK). He currently writes news, features and buying guides for TechRadar, and occasionally other Future websites such as T3 or Creative Bloq and he's a copy editor for TechRadar Pro. Darrran has written for a large number of tech and gaming websites/magazines in the past, including Web User and ComputerActive. He has also worked at IDG Media, having been the Editor of PC Games Solutions and the Deputy Editor of PC Home.