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April 06, 2012

Google[x] and Sergey Brin wearing Augmented reality glasses

Project Glass is the second Wired - big project out of Google (x), the company’s Mountain View skunkworks devoted to long-term projects. Since Larry Page reassumed the role of CEO (exactly one year ago today), his fellow co-founderSergey Brin has focused on Google (x) and Glass is apparently the project Brin promised news of almost a year ago at Google’s I/O conclave. Glass has been in the works for years, with key input from Babak Amir Parviz, a Google (x) employee who is still listed as the McMorrow Innovation Associate Professor at the University of Washington.

Sergey Brin wearing the project Glass augmented reality glasses





Google has been working on Project Glass for two years and is currently experimenting with different designs for the glasses. Google has been testing the glasses, but this would be the first time they have been spotted out in the wild.

Three co-signers of the Project Glass post - Parviz, Steve Lee, Sebastian Thrun

Babak Amir Parviz is one of three co-signers of the Google+ post announcing the project. His research specialties make him sound like a character in a Michael Crichton novel: Bio-nanotechnology, Self-Assembly, Nanofabrication, MEMS. Before coming to Google he co-authored a paper entitled, “Self-assembled crystalline semiconductor optoelectronics on glass and plastic.” All of this indicates that Google has made some advances in science behind projecting computer visuals that hang in your field of vision.

The second author on the Google+ post is Steve Lee, known previously as a Google location manager. I once saw Lee in action before Google’s Privacy Council, successfully defending a set of features in Google Latitude that, with the user’s permission, registered and stored a complete history of one’s peregrinations. It was clear that Lee was excited about the possibilities that come from exploiting location services in new ways. Obviously, location — giving directions, providing information about nearby services, and pegging the whereabouts of friends — is going to be a big part of this new initiative.

The third is Sebastian Thrun, he of the autonomous driving vehicles, open online education and a leader at Google[x].

Self-assembled crystalline semiconductor optoelectronics on glass and plastic

In this paper, we demonstrate the integration of high-performance single crystalline inorganic μ-light emitting diodes (LEDs) onto unconventional substrates such as plastic and glass via self-assembly. AlGaAs-based free-standing red μ-LEDs were batch fabricated and released from their substrates for use in self-assembly. The templates for assembly were fabricated on substrates such as flexible plastics and glass. The self-assembly method is capable of positioning the micro-components onto the template in proper receptor sites with a high yield, and forming electrical connections between components and the template with 62% yield. The μ-LEDs remain functional even after significant bending and deformation of the plastic substrates. The self-assembly method offers a way to incorporate optoelectronics onto objects that are incompatible with conventional semiconductor manufacturing processes.

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