Google creates a spectacle with ‘smart glasses’ project

Google's Project Glass opens a new world of possibilities—and challenges. (AP)

If you think it’s hard to keep students’ attention in class now, just wait until everyone starts wearing Google’s futuristic, internet-connected glasses.

While wearing a pair, you can see directions to your destination appear literally before your eyes. You can talk to friends over video chat, take a photo, or even buy a few things online as you walk around.

These glasses can do anything you now need a smart phone or tablet computer to do—and then some.

Google gave a glimpse of its “Project Glass” in a video and blog post this week. Still in an early prototype stage, the glasses open up endless possibilities—as well as challenges to safety, privacy, fashion sensibility, and more.

The prototypes Google displayed have a sleek wrap-around look and appear nothing like clunky 3D glasses. But if Google isn’t careful, they could be dismissed as a kind of Bluetooth earpiece of the future, a fashion faux-pas where bulky looks outweigh marginal utility.

Watch the video:

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In development for a couple of years, the project is the brainchild of Google X, the online search-leader’s secret facility that spawned the self-driving car and one day could send elevators into space.

If it takes off, it could bring reality another step closer to science fiction, where the line between human and machine blurs.