Augmented reality: Sci-Fi dream becomes a reality
PADUCAH — The engineers at Google are at it again, working to turn another futuristic dream into a reality.
Last week, the company revealed Project glass, a Web-connected, wearable computer.
You could use these glasses to instantly see directions overlaid on the road ahead, take pictures of anything you see or video chat with friends as if they were standing right in front of you.
It's called augmented reality and it's already more science fact than science fiction.
The Terminator used it to track down John Connor.
Tony Stark used it to save the day in "Iron Man".
And someday soon, you could use this type of Heads Up Display to find a restaurant, track down your car in a crowded parking lot or even get vital information in an emergency.
Google's Project Glass has put the concept front and center.
But you might be surprised to learn you can actually already do most of this with a device many of us already own: a smartphone.
Using your phone's built in GPS, compass and gyroscope, apps overlay information on your phone's camera view.
The Layar app displays a wealth of information based on your location. You decide what to display. It even lets you interact with real objects.
Urbanspoon shows you nearby restaurants and tells you what other people think of the food.
Meanwhile, Distant Suns and Sky Map bring out the amateur astronomer in all of us, revealing star charts as you gaze at the night sky.
So, while you may not have a pair of Google glasses for a while, you can still enjoy the benefits of augmented reality.
Just watch out for that Terminator.
google is testing their glasses in a top secret lab somewhere in the san francisco bay area. experts say the final product might not be ready until 2014.