Google Glass approval by the Federal Communication Commission has recently been granted, including the go-ahead for an “integral vibrating element that provides audio to the user via contact with the user’s head”. The new hardware will hopefully be introduced in an experimental form later in 2013.
Instead of using a traditional speaker, sound waves will be transmitted to the inner ear as vibrations passing through the skull. Although the technology isn’t a new concept, it hasn’t been widely used, although Panasonic unveiled a bone conduction headphone prototype at this year’s Consumer Electronics show. For future users of Google Glass, the new technology could keep them safe as external sounds may also be heard, especially useful on busy roads. Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google is the development leader and has been spotted on the New York subway testing the eyewear.
Bluetooth and WiFi will also feature as part of the glasses, with a small screen visible in the field of vision of the wearer. The software in Google Glass has a voice command response and uses the Android mobile operating system, and will be able to display maps, directions and other data. Although its full range of capability remains unknown at this stage, the technology seems to further emphasise the importance of businesses localising their search engine optimisation (SEO) campaigns. Should Google Glass prove popular with consumers, it would offer the opportunity for a business to increase its high street presence in an innovative way, given that targeted search results are a major stream of Google’s income.