Google Glasses: What Can They Do For Travelers?

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Last week, Google released a video of their new prototype "augmented reality" glasses. These wearable computers will literally project information—from video chats to weather reports to Google Map directions—directly into your field of vision. The product (which has no price or release date set) will rely on voice–activated commands and should theoretically mimic many of the functions of a smart phone.

Think it all sounds a little sci–fi? That’s because we’ve seen something similar in movies like Mission: Impossible and The Terminator. But how does the technology hold up for the non–spy/non–killer–robot set? Can a real traveler get something out of them? Let’s check the video:

Maps: Get from point A to point B without holding a giant map in front of your face and immediately identifying yourself as a tourist. Turn–by–turn directions will transform you into a walking GPS. And, as the video suggests, you’ll get real–time updates on public transportation—always helpful in a new city.

Real–Time Videos: In the past, the only way your family would get to share in your vacation experiences was to gather around a slideshow. Now, folks at home will be able to see and experience everything you’re seeing in real time. Think your mom would love that Argentine tango show you’re watching? Just call home and invite her to watch with you.

Photos: An embedded camera means you’ll never miss a shot while reaching for your camera. From wildlife experiences to quieter cultural rituals, there are many opportunities when being discreet and unobtrusive is a must. Want to get a photo of that super rare bird that just landed next to you? How quietly can you whisper, “Take a picture”?

Other Apps: Real–time translation? Flash sale sites? Restaurant reservations? Hotel deals? If they can replace your iPhone with an eye–phone, my guess is the possibilities are endless.

Whether you’re a tech addict or a quasi–Luddite like me, I think we can all agree this is a crazy leap forward for technology. But the real question is: would you actually buy a pair? Sound off below and vote in our poll.


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