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Google Glass has Trouble with Scottish Accents

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No matter how ground breaking it’s supposed to be, like every other voice recognition system on earth, Google Glass doesn’t do Scottish well.

Not that Apple is any better at Scottish accents than Google.

Or any voice recognition really.

The Race to Augmented Reality Glasses

Let’s start out by ignoring how stupid augmented reality glasses look. No amount of fitting them on attractive male and female models can do anything but make them look like rejects from a cyberpunk movie from the mid 90’s that plays at 3 AM on the SyFy channel.

What’s at stake with augmented reality glasses? Besides the title of Best Dressed Early Adopter Dork?google-glasses

Everyone wants to steal a jump on Apple and kick off a product line before Apple plants its flag. Google, which has played catch up with Android, wants to be there first with Google Glass. Olympus, which knows actual lenses, is jumping into the game too.

Now there are reports that Apple may be working on augmented reality glasses. Or it may just be filing patents. Steve Jobs would never have approved of augmented reality glasses and even without him, Apple needs to make them look cool. But that may not be doable.

What’s the problem?

Let’s start with the experience. The glasses Olympus is showing off allow 2 hours of continuous display. Google Glass probably won’t do much better. So don’t expect to go bouncing your hipster goggles around while listening to music all day, stalking friends and playing the ukelele for your girlfriend with camera vision. You won’t be doing it for long.

Battery power will get better, but limited display and power means that the cooler overlay possibilities that make augmented reality interesting aren’t going to be here yet. And is it really worth wearing Cyberpunk D4000xz glasses just to be able to see your email and Facebook updates without having to flip out your mobile device?

Forget the iPod. It’s likely that the augmented reality glasses that will first show up will be more like the Newton, interesting in concept, rich with possibilities, but not ready for prime time.

Google Glass and Augmented Reality Ads

You probably already saw this promo for Google Glass, the augmented reality mobile eyepiece that spams you with friend updates, lets stalkers know where you are and keeps shoving Google Plus circles at you. Google has announced that it’s selling the Explorer Edition to developers and will begun running off actual products in two years.

Now take a look at the Google Glass ad and see if you can spot what’s missing. That’s right, it’s ads.google-glasses

Google’s search and social offerings are just ways to shove ads at you. But you don’t see ads while the hipster heads to a hipster bookstore, gets hipster coffee and plays the Ukelele for his girlfriend. But the ads have to be there. There’s no point in a search experience without getting the ads in there.

So what will Google Glass ads look like? Who knows. Audio ads are obvious and obviously annoying, but remember Google Glass is augmented reality. It’s primitive augmented reality that functions like a basic mobile device, but if they stick around, they will get more sophisticated.

So what will augmented reality ads look like? Take a look at this augmented reality demo and remember that it was developed by an ad agency.

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The future of advertising

Remember all those ads you run into while browsing? The weird guy wriggling his head? The half-naked girl? The bug flying around?

Now imagine those in augmented reality. And then start imagining the dinosaurs in there too. And people so real that you have to take off your glasses to realize they don’t exist. Or you can just wait for their product pitches.

Rendering those kinds of graphics will be beyond Google Glass, but not beyond many mobile devices on the market already. And the processors are getting more powerful, lower energy and capable of doing more with graphics, while graphics hardware companies and engine developers are aiming harder at the mobile market.

If Google Glass is a success, the third generation of devices will be able to shove high end graphics in augmented reality at you. And while XBox 720 may already have something like that (if not the next generation of consoles will have it for the home environment, imagine fighting battles in your living room instead of a warehouse full of crates, not too exciting, but you’re less likely to bump into walls, the living room can also be used to map out the warehouse, your sofa can be one of the crates, kick it to pop out health packs) things will start getting properly weird when you encounter this stuff on the way to work.

Remember ads play for all the tons of free internet crap you get. Mobile has made ads more challenging, but augmented reality takes away the challenge. It’s the brass ring of ad agencies and Google. Instead of a few obscure AdSense or Facebook ads that no one clicks on, you’ll meet a dinosaur on the way to work who will try to sell you something.

It’s going to be a strange world.

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