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Google’s Taking Aim At Photographers

Ask and you shall receive…

For those of you who are new to Wall Street Daily, each Friday I post a brief sampling of technology trends that I’ve been following for the week.

And at the end of these “Friday Briefings,” you get a chance to select which topic interests you most. Then, if a particular trend receives a significant amount of votes, I’m likely to expand on that topic the following week.

Based on results from last Friday, there’s no question which tech trend Wall Street Daily readers want to hear more about.

With 510 of you tuned in to the latest news about Google’s (Nasdaq: GOOG) Project Glass initiative, it received 79% of the total votes.

So here’s a bit more information about what Google has up its sleeve with this innovation.

New Details Emerging

Most of you already know that Project Glass involves a pair of glasses that are capable of showing information on a small display, just above your normal field of vision.

Google’s theory behind why this concept would be popular is that it helps to get technology out of our way. Or as Google’s co-founder, Sergey Brin, says, “You want to be free to experience the world without futzing with a phone.”

I’ve said before that I think it’s a great idea, since it would help us keep in touch with our digital lives without technology interfering.

Here are a few recent developments I didn’t discuss on Friday.

~ Catering to Photographers: Project Glass isn’t just about staying on top of your Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) or Twitter feeds. At the company’s Google+ Photographer’s Conference last week, the project’s tech lead, Max Braun, discussed the innovation’s ability to revolutionize mobile photography, too. He says, “We see Glass as an evolution of cell phone photography… So this means it’s the next step of the camera that’s always with you.”

In other words, it’s not just a camera that you can whip out of your pocket and use anytime you like. With Project Glass technology, taking pictures doesn’t require an extra step. In fact, it doesn’t even require hands. So you’re able to take pictures of what you see faster than ever before, capturing moments as they happen, in real time. (No details yet on exactly how you snap photos hands-free.)

This isn’t just about convenience, either. Since the camera lens is close to your eye – and Google equipped it with an extra wide viewing angle – pictures taken with Glass offer a unique first-person perspective.

That perspective combined with speed and it can produce shots unlike any other camera in existence. Like Braun says, “We think that photography in Glass is going to open up a whole range of pictures that would not have been possible otherwise.”

~ More User Interface Details Revealed: Based on the original concept video that shows off what Project Glass might soon be capable of, I assumed that the user interface would be navigated by using voice commands and eye movements. And while that functionality might end up in the commercial-ready version of the technology, it looks like the current prototype is controlled with a touch-sensitive surface on the right arm of the glasses.

Sergey Brin recently demonstrated the technology on “The Gavin Newsom Show,” swiping his finger along a touchpad to navigate to a photo he had just taken. Although slightly less high-tech, it seems like a safer route to take, as an eye-controlled interface would likely result in unwanted inputs throughout the day.

Another detail that emerged from the interview is that the display won’t be as distracting as some have feared. After seeing the technology in action, Newsom told Wired that “he was impressed by the image quality of the display in the glasses. The politician-slash-talk-show-host noted that… the ‘image was remarkably clear.’ [And] Newsom said he found it easy to quickly focus on Brin… sitting across the desk, and then refocus” on the headset’s screen.

We’ll hopefully soon be able to see just how clear the display is for ourselves, as Brin speculated that Project Glass could be available to consumers sometime next year.

Unfortunately, nothing was mentioned about putting the technology into contacts. But considering it’s taken upwards of three years just to get the technology this far, I doubt we’ll see that anytime soon.

Good investing,

Justin Fritz

Justin Fritz

, Executive Editor

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