Google is now taking orders for Google Glass. It's glasses that let you take pictures or video, shows you information like from a smartphone but on the glasses. It's available to software developers for $1,500, shipping next year.
I'm dubious about it catching on, but Molly Wood of CNET is smitten.
Molly Wood: I feel like Google Glass is the start of kind of a sea change in terms of interactive sharing and experiencing, and I think although it might not be our natural tendency to share everything that we're doing, that is absolutely what the kids these days are doing with social networking. They check in everywhere, they share every little detail -- and even I do it a little bit -- and I feel like if you can do that sort of hands-free with that first person perspective. It's the idea of like Foursquare check-ins, Facetime or Skype all rolled into one.
Moe: But it’s not living life, it’s an artificial overlay of life, which creates dissonance. You're out there in the world, but seeing it through what kind of pictures you're going to take that you know you'll never look at later. Are people willing to give up life itself?
Wood: I think even you would agree that's a bit of a hyperbole.
Moe: A bit, yes.
Wood: I actually think that the glasses are better than the way we are currently, so half the time when I am at an event, and I am as guilty as anyone, I'm not even experiencing it because I'm so busy uploading the picture that I just took and then Tweeting and Facebooking it. If I was just watching it and then a camera on the side of my glasses was broadcasting it for me, you could argue that I'm actually more immersed in my life, and I'm sharing at the same time. It's a double win.
Moe: Do you know if info is being relayed to Google? Will we see ads?
Wood: I think it's safe to say almost certainly, yes. That's what Google does.
Moe: Sharing special moments. With Google.
Wood: All day, every day.
Moe: All day every day through glasses or implants.
Turning to another product not quite available. A judge has approved Apple's request to block U.S. sales of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, while litigation is pursued. Apple argues the design of Samsung's tablet is too much like an iPad.
Colleen Chien of Santa Clara University School of Law says Samsung has had a hard time in court showing that the Galaxy Tab isn’t an iPad knockoff.
Colleen Chien: There were some particularly pointed court testimony where Judge Kho actually held up both devices and asked the lawyer to distinguish between the two devices and they couldn't.
Moe: Asked Samsung's lawyer?
Chien: Yes. So, you know, that wasn't a very good day for that lawyer, but also it does speak to the resemblance between these products which is stronger and greater than many other products out there which may look like an Apple, but aren't that similar that you can't tell them apart.
Moe: So what does this decision mean for me if i want to buy devices in the store?
Chien: The answer to that depends in each case on the specific patent. So, if you're talking about a small feature that can be turned off, then, it might mean that you can still buy the device, but you've got to buy it without that feature in it. But in this case since we're talking about the actual whole design of the Galaxy Tab, you know Samsung's engineers are going to have to go back and figure out how to make this look different than an Apple device and like these patents. So, what it could mean for you as a consumer is that you've got less choice if you were planning on buying this device which is cheaper than the iPad, you may be out of luck for a while.