Those of you passionate about technology and gadgetry have probably heard about a masterstroke from Google that’s in the pipeline – Project Glass. Basically, owning a pair of “Google Glasses” will allow a user access to the same functions that he or she could get from a smartphone. The amazing thing is, of course, that all of this is contained within an elaborate pair of spectacles, allowing you a multitude of options without even having to shift your eyes downwards. Filming and photographing with a built-in camera, surfing the web and social networking, making video calls and receiving directions are just some of the things these specs can do for you whilst still being able to keep an eye on surroundings.
As with the smartphones, it’s only a matter of time before some bright spark comes up with the idea of incorporating translation technology. Project Glass-inspired British computer Will Powell couldn’t wait that long. Instead, the Londoner has built his own pair of hi-tech specs that provide translations using 3D glasses, an iPhone, an iPad, two microphones, a TV, a transformer and a couple of Raspberry Pi mini computers. Cutting a long story short, Will can see the words of Spanish-speaking guinea pig Elizabeth in English subtitles in front of his eyes with the help of Microsoft’s translation API, as shown in the above video.
So what bearing does this have on the future of translation technology? Very little, to be honest. There’s not necessarily going to be any new ground covered that tablets and smartphones haven’t already. Rather, it’s simply a case of further condensing well-established technology purely for our convenience. The same question marks over translation apps remain, although I’m not going to pour water on what is still a potentially brilliant invention that will have its uses in certain situations.
Original inspiration Project Glass is set to be unleashed on the gadget-hungry public in early 2014. Those keen enough attending the upcoming Google I/O conference can pre-purchase developer models at $1500 a pair.