I try the Google glasses. Sort of

Sergey Brin lets a few journalists try on the Google glasses, though we don't get access to the really cool stuff.

Looking up at the image projected in front of me. Stephen Shankland/CNET

After a small press conference at Google I/O, cofounder Sergey Brin let a few writers try on his pair of Google Glasses. I took a spin in them.

The glasses were locked into "demo mode," Brin said. The only image visible from my perspective was a video loop of fireworks. The image was just above my normal line of sight, and quite small, about the size of a postage stamp.

The glasses have a compass and an accelerometer in them, and as my head moved, the perspective in the video panned as well.

The glasses have audio output to the right ear only, and there's no earbud -- the sound just leaks into space. Best practice is to cup your hand over your ear and the glasses temple to amplify the sound. This works well, and Brin says the social gesture of cupping your hand over your ear alerts people near you that you are paying attention to the device.

Disabled were all the really cool features -- SMS, alerts, and the capability to read Brin's e-mail. Brin says that he has his glasses set up to not bother him with e-mail text. He gets an audible alert when a high-priority e-mail comes in, and only if he looks up (tilts his head up) does the message display.

The titanium-framed glasses headset was comfortable and very light. I had to take off my prescription lenses to wear the Google Glasses, but Google designer Isabelle Olsson (a former eyewear designer) says the company is working with glasses manufacturers to serve glasses-wearing users.

 

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