Glasses make sounds visible

With the announcement of Google Glass recently, there's been a growing drumbeat around heads-up displays. The latest focuses on people suffering from hearing loss. The Himri Glasses, created by Daniele Silvestri and co-owned by Andrea Chagnon, make sounds visible to users with hearing impairments. The glasses detect surrounding noises, analyze their amplitudes and volume and displays a graphic visualization of the sound on the sides of the lenses. Notifications alert wearers about approaching cars and wailing alarms to help avoid any accidents. What's nice about this design is that the aesthetics and styling is considered, making the solution more appealing to users to actually wear. Also, interactive heads-up displays should not be about replicating the phone experience onto eyewear lenses. Don't give me a bunch of UI that comes at me at all times! This concept is an example of how you can use the unique formfactor and body placement of glasses in a unique and useful way to solve a simple problem. Well done Silvestri.

More info and images at Industrial Design Served.

Google plans to launch augmented reality glasses

Google unveiled one of its secret projects from the Google X laboratory on Wednesday via its Google+ platform, called "Project Glass." Google's idea is this: In the future, we will be able to wear eyeglasses that let us interact with our surroundings in a completely new way. Using pieces of smart glass with a heads-up display (HUD), Google's wearable solution mixes communication technology like social networking, calling and texting, with real world elements like people, places, and things. Continue on International Business Times. According to TechCrunch, Apple and Facebook should be terrified of Google-Tinted glasses. "Google’s augmented reality eyewear is coming to disrupt your face and your business model. If you don’t even have to pull your phone out to take a photo, get directions, or message with friends, why would you need to buy the latest iPhone or spend so much time on Facebook?

It could be a year before Google eyewear reaches stores, but that’s why these and other tech companies need to strategize now. If they wait to see if the device is a hit, the world could be seeing through Google-tinted glasses by the time they adapt. Apple and Facebook’s bet might be to team up…

Despite its lack of hardware experience, Google is the best positioned company to make, or at least provide the software for eyeglass computers. It has Android, Google+, Maps, Gmail, Gcal, Latitude, and more. Glass might go belly up, but if not it could breathe life into some of these sluggish services." Continue reading on Techcrunch

Where's Microsoft in all of this?

From a design perspective, I worry about the aesthetics of both the hardware and the interface and the usefulness of the experience. Nobody sets out to look like a dork. If I am asked to wear it, it has to be beautiful. I have to want to wear it and I'm not convinced that they nailed it with this version of the design. And this concept has been around for decades. Why is this version better and does it really make me want to use it over my phone?

Image from International Business Times