Global ColumnㅣThe Future of AR Shown by Next-Generation Google Glass

Finally, Google Glass, which the public can understand, has arrived. The new Google Glass seems to open up the possibilities of augmented reality (AR).

At the annual developer conference last week, Google unveiled AR glasses (collectively referred to as ‘translation glasses’) that visually output real-time translated languages, and someday, ‘glasses’ when conversing with a foreign language speaker. You will see translated languages ​​through .

demonstration video‘Translation Glass’ in ‘Translation Glass’ provides translation between English, Chinese or Spanish, as well as subtitles (CC) that transcribe in real time what other people are saying so that people who speak different languages ​​can have a conversation (even if they don’t know each other). Or, the hearing impaired could visually see what other people were saying.

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As the hardware of the so-called ‘Google Translate’ service, this glass will solve the main inconvenience of using Google Translate. For example, using audio translation makes it difficult to have a smooth conversation (because you have to go through the process of inputting your voice and viewing the translation result). Visually presenting the translated language makes conversation much easier and more natural.

Also, unlike the existing Google Glass, the Translation-Glass prototype is making it clear that it is an augmented reality (AR) device. Augmented reality devices collect data from the real world, recognize the meaning of the data, and add information that users can utilize.

In fact, the existing Google Glass was not an ‘augmented reality device’ but a ‘head-up display (HUD)’. The only context or environmental awareness Google Glass could handle was location. It only provides directions or location-based notifications based on location, it cannot collect visual or audio data to return information about what the user is seeing or hearing. Google’s Translation Glass is an AR device that takes audio data from the real world and returns a translated transcript in the language of the user’s choice.

The press only reported that the translation function was a dedicated application for Google’s AR glasses. There was no analytical or critical inquiry. As far as I know, yes. The most important fact that should have been mentioned in any press release is that translation is an arbitrary choice for processing audio data in the cloud. There are so many more things you can do with your glasses!

In other words, any application can easily handle any audio and return any text or audio available to the wearer as well. Doesn’t it matter? In effect, the hardware sends the audio to the cloud and displays the text the cloud returns.

Applications that process audio and return executable or contextual information are virtually limitless. The glasses can transmit any noise and then display the text returned by the remote application.

It can also encode noise like an older modem. A noise-generating device or smartphone app can send beeps and whistles, just like Star Wars’ robot character ‘R2D2’, which can be processed in the cloud, like an audio QR code that the server can interpret and return any information to display on the glass. can In this case, the text (information) may be device guidelines, information about artifacts in a museum, or information on specific products in a store.

This is a ‘Visual AR’ application that is expected to be released in 5 years or later. In the meantime, of course, most of this visual AR will be available as audio.

Google’s ‘Translation Glass’ is clearly expected to be used with the Google Assistant. It’s like using a smart display (with Google Assistant), an appliance that provides visual data along with regular audio data in a query from Google Assistant. However, this visual data will be provided through the glasses, without the use of hands, wherever the user is.

Also imagine ‘translation glasses’ paired with a smartphone. By transmitting contact data via Bluetooth, depending on the permissions granted by the user, the glasses can indicate who they are talking to at a business event and whether they have a history of conversations in the past.

Why IT Media Criticized Google Glass
There are two main reasons why the media criticized ‘Google Glass’. First, the front-facing camera mounted on the headset makes people uncomfortable. If I talk to a Google Glass wearer, it is inconvenient to not know if the camera facing me is recording (Google did not say if there is a camera in this ‘Translation Glass’, but it was not in the prototype).

Second, the overly bouncy hardware design makes the wearer look like a cyborg. Because of these two hardware problems, critics have argued that Google Glass will not be widely accepted.

Google’s ‘translation glasses’, on the other hand, don’t have a camera and don’t make the wearer look like a cyborg. It’s not much different from regular glasses. And the text visible to the wearer is invisible to the person talking to him. They seem to just make eye contact and talk.

The only downside of Google’s ‘translation glasses’ hardware is that it ‘records’ other people’s speech without permission, uploads them to the cloud for translation, and probably does the recording like other voice-related products. that it will be kept. So augmented reality devices and even heads-up displays will be very attractive ‘provided the manufacturers set the features right’.

One day you will experience full ‘visual AR’ with ordinary looking glasses. Until then, we expect AR glasses to have the following features:

1. They look like regular glasses.
2. You can use prescription lenses.
3. There is no camera.
4. Process audio with AI and return data via text.
5. It also provides an assistant function that returns results as text.

So far, there has been no product that satisfies all of these conditions. But Google has proven that the technology is there. Language subtitling and translation are the most notable features (so far), but given its many other attractive business applications, it’s a Trojan horse.

Google hasn’t revealed when (even if, in fact) the ‘translation glasses’ will be released as a commercial product. But if Google doesn’t, someone else will, and that’s a killer category for business users.

We anticipate that the ability of regular glasses to provide access to visual and audio results of assistant queries, as well as visual results translated (with AI) of interlocutors and content will be completely game-changing.

We are currently living in an era of ‘awkward’ technology development, where AR applications reside mainly in smartphone apps, and await popularly accepted mobile AR glasses to be launched in a few years. The solution in between is clear. We need audio-based AR glasses that collect sounds and display words.

That’s what Google showed.

* Mike Elgan is a professional contributor to technology and technology culture.
[email protected]


Source: ITWorld Korea by www.itworld.co.kr.

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