Do we need augmented reality glasses?

<p>Google Glass — Google's augmented reality glasses — are getting closer to hitting the market. These computerized specs allow wearers to surf the Internet, send and receive e-mail messages, chat with friends and take photos. Pretty awesome for a pair of glasses. But there was a time when glasses were used just for seeing things, which was an important job, too. Is Google's Glass project, then, truly necessary? Or is it a diversion from real life?</p> <p><strong>Augmented vision</strong></p> <p>The news that Google Glass, as stated by CNET, will be released by the end of the year has been a bit of a surprise. Google was initially planning to release the glasses in 2014. The sped-up timeframe gives a hint of how important Google considers its augmented eyewear. Even better, the news is that the glasses, even though pricey, are somewhat affordable. They are expected to retail for $1,500.</p> <p><strong>Do we need augmented reality?</strong></p> <p>So, are Google's Glasses an example Google providing consumers what they want, or are the glasses are high-priced novelty that will never catch on? It's hard to deny that there's some usefulness to the glasses. They can be used, after all, to run directions to a new Chinese restaurant as you're walking down the street. You can make a call to tell a friend that you're running late. You could even pull up the subway timetable before you head underground to catch a train. But can't we already do all of this with phones, mobile devices and, of course, paper and pen?</p> <p><strong>A connected world?</strong></p> <p>The Google Glass project will test just how linked to our electronic devices we want to be. We've already grown to be dependent upon our tablets and smartphones to tell us when the next movie is playing, whether we should pack an umbrella, or where that new French restaurant is located. You could look at Google Glass as just the next step in our growing relationship with mobile devices. It remains to be seen, though, whether an augmented reality is more spectacular than just plain old reality.</p>
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TSG Networks provides IT services to businesses and non-profit organizations that wish to focus on furthering their missions by leaving technology to the experts.
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