At SXSW today, Google gave a sneak preview of Google Glass, its futuristic eyewear concept—which is far closer to the present than you may have realized.
Glass "evangelist" Timothy Jordan unveiled integrations with a number of third-party services, including Path and Evernote. His goal was to sell Google Glass as a promising platform for startups to build on, and it appears to have worked.
One of the most surprising integrations comes from The New York Times. A simple head-gesture allowed Jordan to access breaking news notifications from the paper. The glasses display an image along with the headline, and the wearer can ask to have the story's text read aloud from there.
He also showed how you can share photos on Evernote. And through an integration with Path, Glass wearers can select different emoticons and leave comments on the personal social network. Gmail will also be available from Glass, and includes the ability to reply to priority messages using the frames.
Jordan shed some light on other product features as well. He said there won't be any streaming video, except on Google+ for now. And that Google is looking into how Glass can work with traditional prescription glasses.
In some respects, Google is simply creating a new interface for your cellphone. What remains to be seen is whether an app can be built that will turn this fancy headwear into more than a futuristic novelty.
[Image: A Glass-tester at the Fast Company Grill in SXSW By Anjali Mullany]