Forget the iPad and the Whiteboard – here come Google’s goggles…

Just bought a £2000 interactive whiteboard? Or spent £500 on the next generation iPad? Dude, like, what a waste of your hard-earned cash. Whiteboards, as we all know, are so last century. What you should be doing is popping down to Specsavers for the very latest in designer eyewear.

If you think I have totally lost the plot, I‘ve actually been looking at Project Glass, the latest concept in augmented reality from the Google skunkworks. By combining various existing technologies, Project Glass combines all the features of a smartphone with a heads-up display on custom spectacles.

The youtube demo video is (almost literally) eye-popping – the device is always on, always accessible, and responds to voice commands. It guides you round the streets, orders your gig tickets, snaps the view, plays you music, calls your friends. The first adopters will think you’re bonkers when you start talking to your glasses, but it won’t be long before everyone’s doing it. And countless irritating advertisers will be sending you messages as you walk past their outlets.

Of course, it may be a while before the technology actually takes off. And you have to wear glasses, so those of you with 20/20 vision, forget it. But of course what Google are actually doing is demonstrating how they can put together the various parts of the Google “ecosystem” – maps, social networking, Android communications, Picasa – to meet everyone’s needs. They’re saying Google really can do it all, and have the content too – and that’s another poke in the eye for Apple, of course. Bit scary, when you think about it.

As for the actual glasses – well, in certain circumstances they might catch on. Needing glasses hasn’t done 3D cinema any harm. Imagine a class full of studious, bespectacled students avidly watching your latest presentation, all heads up and alert and watching YOU at the same time. Or an individual interacting in real time with their teacher during a distance learning class. As for me, I wear glasses anyway, so the moment they’re in the shops I’m sooo getting a pair…