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Augmented reality experts hit out at Google's Project Glass

Those in the know have expressed doubts about Google's prototype eyewear.

Google's Project Glass eyewear caused quite a stir when the company unveiled it this week. But now two augmented reality experts have cast doubts on whether Google could pull off what's shown in the promo video with the hardware.

"The small screen seen in the photos cannot give the experience the video is showing," Pranav Mistry, an MIT Media Lab researcher, told Wired. If that's true, it's no wonder Google's Sergey Brin was keeping the glasses to himself at a recent charity event.

Blair MacIntyre, director of the Augmented Environments Lab at Georgia Tech, was just as doubtful. "You could not do AR with a display like this," he said. "The small field of view, and placement off to the side, would result in an experience where the content is rarely on the display and hard to discover and interact with. But it's a fine size and structure for a small head-up display."

So maybe it'll be more suited to showing information than interacting with it.

MacIntyre thinks Google has overstretched itself. "In one simple fake video, Google has created a level of over-hype and over-expectation that their hardware cannot possibly live up to."

Mistry says even if Google can pull it out of the bag, we won't see the glasses for at least two years. This goes against what we initially heard about a launch at the end of 2012, but chimes with what Sergey Brin told The Verge. Namely, "give us time."

Both experts point to limitations with current mobile display tech. You'd need extra hardware to read your eye so the display can dynamically focus, according to Mistry. And MacIntrye says it's tricky to create a transparent display that renders overlays in different lighting conditions.

Google's response when asked for more specifics? "We aren't prepared to put additional information on the record at this time."

It looks like we'll have to curb our enthusiasm, for now at least.

In the meantime, here's how it would work if Microsoft made it, via TechCrunch. Below it is the original Google video.