If we say Google Goggles, you know what we are talking about? For those answering no, here is the explaination: Goggles is a project very close to augmented reality, presented by Google in 2010 that lets you search through the use of images. At the moment it seems pretty sci-fi, but soon it could be one of the tools we commonly use on our smartphones.

Some days ago, in fact, rumors spread saying that Google is planning to add a new feature related to Goggles inside its Android camera. This new feature will let you take advantage of the tool to take pictures and receive straight away information on what is portrayed inside them.

Essentially, it will be possible to take pictures of famous or recognizable objects and use Google search engine to receive information about them: SlashGear says that you will only have to take a picture and then trace an outline around the object you want information on, getting rid of background noise and clutter; Android will recognize it and will give you all the data you requested.

If this is not enough, Goggles can read text in eight languages (italian, english, spanish, german, french, portguese, russian and turkish) and translate them. It works also as a barcodes reader and QR codes scanner, pretty good feature in the case you want to save someone’s contact on your phone directly scanning QR or business cards, and it can even solve Sudoku puzzles.

It seems that Goggles has been tested also with wearables: it’s actually easy to imagine it used in an augmented reality headset.

Se diciamo Google Goggles, sapete di che cosa stiamo parlando? Si tratta di un progetto firmato Google presentato già nel 2010 che permette la ricerca tramite immagini e che molto ha della realtà aumentata. Al momento sembra più fantascienza che altro, ma presto questo strumento potrebbe diventare uno di quelli più comunemente utilizzati sui nostri smartphone.

Qualche giorno fa, infatti, voci di corridoio hanno fatto sapere che Google vorrebbe inserire una nuova funzionalità proprio legata a Goggles all’interno della sua app fotografica per Android. Questa nuova funzione permetterebbe di sfruttare lo strumento per scattare fotografie e avere la possibilità di ricevere subito informazioni su ciò che abbiamo ritratto nelle stesse.

In pratica, sarà possibile immortalare oggetti famosi o riconoscibili e usare il motore di ricerca di Google per avere informazioni sugli stessi: basterà, secondo SlashGear, tracciare una linea intorno all’oggetto per il quale si desidera sapere di più, così che siano tagliati fuori tutti gli elementi di disturbo e di sfondo, e Android lo riconoscerà e cercherà i dati richiesti tramite Goggles. Se questo non fosse abbastanza, il sistema può riconoscere testi scritti in ben otto lingue (italiano, inglese, tedesco, spagnolo, francese, portoghese, russo e turco) e tradurli.

Goggles può inoltre funzionare anche come lettore di codici a barre e scanner di QR codes, feature molto comoda nel caso si voglia aggiungere qualcuno in rubrica direttamente da QR o biglietto da visita, e può addirittura risolvere il Sudoku.

A quanto pare, l’utilizzo di Goggles è stato sperimentato anche negli wearables: non si fa fatica a immaginarlo come funzionalità interna di un visore a realtà aumentata.

Would you like to have more control on what happens while you ski or snowboard? You should try augmented reality, and GogglePal is the tech gadget perfect for you!

No, we are not talking about another pair of glasses or bulky headset: the creators, fans of snowsports themselves, thought about this too; GogglePal is an insert adaptable to any kind of ski or snowboard goggles that permits you to have right in front of your eyes a Head Up Display (HUD), a display that let you see information without moving your eyes from the track. The device, that was protagonist of a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, has been launched in four different models: Sport, Connect, Play and Play Gold (this last one is just different in the color), all lightweight and highly portable.

GogglePal’s features are similar to other wearable devices created for sports or driving that we saw earlier (e.g. BMW Digilens and Skully, presented at CES 2016): attaching the insert to the lens, and doing so implementing augmented in your ski goggles, it will be possible to access some important information as speed, vertical, calories burned, acceleration, time and direction, and see it all in real time from a small heads up display right in the corner of your eye.

There is a gamification part too: GogglePal’s app connects you with your friends through a message service while keeping track of their position as well, but also activates games and challenges that you can race with them to gain points as you travel distances and find chests on a special, virtual map.

The device has been created with snowsports in mind, but the creators are thinking also of future models for other sports in need of a HUD.

No more available on Kickstarter, GogglePal can be pre-ordered on their official site; for now there is only a iPhone version of the app, we don’t know if in the future will be made available also an Android one.

You can see more in the video below:

Do you remember the news we gave some time ago about MINI’s new Augmented Reality goggles? The idea is amazing and it is the new path that the automotive industry is seeming to walk through in the future. As we saw previously, other than being stylish, these new glasses can help the driver have a lot more information: they will always be connected with the car and the eyewear will show relevant data in the driver’s direct field of vision without compromise the actual seeing of the road.

Ok, good idea, and very easy to get for those that already know what they are talking about. But what in the case that someone has never heard of Augmented Reality? How do you explain it to them?

Easy, if you can count on a company as the Paris-based Ill-Studio: them, together with MINI, decided to create a tutorial about this new field, and to do it in the manner that everyone can get it.

We all agree to be living in a real world, right? But what if there is more reality than what the human eye can see? The short documentary “Another reality” gives a pop and fake-old-style lesson on reality and relativity of it, taking us directly to the point: what Augmented Reality is.

Reality is a series of perceptions we all agree to be true, and Augmented Reality is simply a digital layer superimposed over our direct environment creating symbiosis between virtual and analog. Now we can perceive more than our eyes can see. You still don’t get it? Watch the video for examples.

At the next Shanghai Motor Show, that will take place from 22th to 29th April 2015, among the other surprises there is a very interesting one, that is not just only for motors’ lovers: MINI announced their new Augmented Reality goggles prototype, called Augmented Vision.

The first thing that we can notice is the bizarre look of the headset: they seem a mix between vintage aviator goggles and Google glass. Then, reading the press release, we know the other features, proper of the Augmented Reality.

The car and the goggles will be always connected and the eyewear will show relevant information in the driver’s direct field of vision but without concealing other road users, thereby serving to increase safety and comfort while driving.

Inside the driver’s field of vision, there will be these functions:

  • Destination entry for navigation and transfer to vehicle: Selecting destination points when outside the vehicle, then transferring them to the vehicle.
  • First Mile / Last Mile: Navigation display from the current location to the vehicle or from the vehicle to the final destination.
  • Head-up display functions: Display of speed, speed limits etc. in the eyewear so the information is in the driver’s primary field of view, with data always shown in same place above steering wheel to make sure that no road users are concealed from sight.
  • Contact-analogue navigation and points of interest: Reality is enhanced by contact-analogue navigation arrows “on” the road, as well as display of points of interest along the route, such as open parking spaces. The driver´s attention can always stay focused on the traffic.
  • Messaging: A small icon is shown in the eyewear when a message is received. The SMS/message can then be read out by the car while driving for safety.
  • X-Ray View / transparent vehicle parts: A virtual view through parts of the vehicle (such as A-pillars and doors) serves to render external areas or objects concealed by the car visible.
  • Augmented Parking: This facilitates parking by projecting the images from a camera housed in the (farside) mirror into the eyewear. In this way, the distance from the curb can be clearly and easily ascertained.

Of course, we don’t have yet a release date or many other information. We’ll keep you informed as MINI will say something more.

See more in this video: