Last week, Google showed off the best vision for the future of augmented reality that we've seen with its Project Glass. As incredible as the video was, it was still just a concept video, so I mostly wrote it off as pipe-dream technology that's still years away from feasibility.
Will Powell, an AR developer from Oxford, built his own DIY version of Project Glass. Powell's glasses work just like Google's in that you can use voice commands to set appointments, play some sappy song, and take pictures. The only difference, of course, is that this is a real working unit.
Will built his DIY glasses using a pair of Vuzix glasses, a pair of HD webcams, and a headset microphone. The whole rig is run on a custom-built application that uses Adobe AIR. Meanwhile, all of Will's speech commands are piped though some Dragon Naturally Speaking software for voice recognition.
The setup is not entirely seamless, though. The system does not actually overlay information over what you see the way Google Glass would theoretically work. Instead, the system uses its two HD webcams to capture video feed, and AR elements are added to the glasses' stereoscopic video stream. Powell also does not say what the system is actually running off of, so it could be connected to a tower PC, which is not entirely portable.
Still, it's pretty impressive for a homebrew system. If one person can whip up a working unit by himself, I'm sure Google will be able to make Project Glass a reality soon.
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