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Project Glass taken out for test run by Google co-founder: report

Project Glass, augmented reality lenses from Google, is already being tested by Google employees, including company co-founder Sergei Brin. 

By Matthew Shaer / April 6, 2012

A screenshot from a Google video promoting Project Glass, a new augmented reality device from the team at Mountain View.

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This week Google officially confirmed the existence of Project Glass, a prototype pair of augmented reality goggles, which will allow users to see maps and chats and take photographs or notes without once reaching down for their smart phones. Early photos of Project Glass show a slim, sleek pair of glasses, with a small rectangular lens over one eye – presumably for snapping photos. 

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"A group of us from Google[x] started Project Glass to build this kind of technology, one that helps you explore and share your world, putting you back in the moment," Google engineers Babak Parviz, Steve Lee, and Sebastian Thrun announced this week on Google+. "We’re sharing this information now because we want to start a conversation and learn from your valuable input." Parvis, Lee, and Thrun also posted a video of Project Glass, which is below. 

Now comes news that Project Glass, which many analysts believed would not launch for months, could be closer to store shelves than originally anticipated. Yesterday evening the tech blogger Robert Scoble caught a glimpse of Google co-founder Sergei Brin sporting a pair of Google goggles, and tweeted the images to his quarter million followers – setting off a small Internet firestorm. 

"The Google Glasses are real!" Scoble wrote in the Twitter message. Later he added that the goggles "look very light weight. Not much different than a regular set of glasses." Brin wouldn't let Scoble try on the Project Glass prototype, which could have something to do with the giant backpack Brin was carting around – perhaps, PC World speculates, that backpack was the power source for the goggles. 

A quick note: Google has promised that the glasses will power themselves, so the production version obviously won't require a battery-pack-in-a-backpack. 

In related news, Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White tells Fox News today that several tech companies are mulling their own version of the Google goggles, although presumably those products would not arrive until several months – at the very earliest – after Project Glass. 

For more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut. And don’t forget to sign up for the weekly BizTech newsletter.

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