CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again


Google Glass has your fridge in its sights - literally

A new patent application details how Glass will spot other gadgets it can interact with and paint that information over your vision.

Google's ambitions for its Glass super-specs aren't limited to just showing you your Gmails in the corner of your eye. A new patent application, published today and spotted by Engadget, details how the wearable computer will spot other gadgets it can interact with and paint that information over your vision, like a targeting reticule in Top Gun.

The examples given by the Big G include a garage door and a fridge. Glass' sensors, including its camera and Bluetooth radio, will look for compatible gadgets. Your garage door, for example, might have an infrared beam. Glass will see this and overlay an image on your field of vision, so you know it's something you can control. Then you might use a voice command -- "Open Sesame!" I would hope -- and your door will automagically open.

"The target device information may include information that defines a virtual control interface for controlling the target device and an identification of a defined area of the target device on which the virtual control image is to be provided," Google says, in its impenetrable patent-speak.

"The wearable computing device controls the head-mounted display to display the virtual control image as an image superimposed over the defined area of the target device in the field of view."

Sounds brilliant! Glass will also be able to pick your friends out of a crowd just by analysing what they're wearing, if new Google-funded research comes to fruition. It could also be a major help translating foreign languages.

Glass isn't without its controversies, however. Foremost is the question of invasion of privacy, particularly in the recording of video -- my colleague at ZDNet Ben Woods put together an excellent primer on this. There's also the cost -- currently pegged at a cool £1,000 -- and its availability to those of us who already wear glasses.

What would you like to control with your cyborg targeting device? How much would you shell out for this kind of tech? And is it a bit, you know, creepy? Stream your thought-impulses directly to the comments below, or over on our old-fashioned Facebook wall.