Wednesday, July 31, 2013
The world's two coolest technology brands, Google and Apple, are to go head-to-head (or should that be eye to eye) in releasing their wearable, hands-free computer devices simultaneously. Google's Glass is a set of eye glasses where the internet can be accessed using voice commands and viewed via an optical head-mounted display. The device can also take photos and record video. Apple's iPatch works in a similar way but takes the form of a traditional pirate-style eye patch which can also access the web using voice only. However, in Apple's case the voice can only be recognised if spoken in a 'pirate accent'.
Although a Google spokesperson referred to the iPatch as "naff", and many feel Apple has lost its way since the death of Steve Jobs, Apple may well be onto something, cashing in on the recent craze for pirates in films such as the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Apple is also hoping to target hitherto uncharted pirate-loving territories including Penzance, Cornwall and, er, Somalia.
Hands-free wearable computers could well be the future, but the jury is currently out on which looks the most ridiculous, the Glass or the iPatch. Virtual reality was all the craze in the 1990s, with films such as Strange Days (1995) taking the concept to extremes, but the idea never seemed to take off. However, the Glass and iPatch are bringing reality a step nearer in what was previously only the domain of science fiction and swashbuckling films.