Google’s Next-Gen Communication Device?


According to the FCC, Google has begun testing a new device.

It has a very cryptic description of “next generation personal communication device”, which leads to several possibilities.

One possibility is that the new device has something to do with the new fiberoptics Internet service planned for Kansas City, KS.  This could be a diagnostics device for technicians or a modem interface for residential consumers.  However, one clue suggests that it may be something else entirely.  According to the FCC application on file (which can be read here), the device requires testing outside of the laboratory environment.  This suggests a device that interacts with the outside world, and therefore could be the rumored Google Goggles.

In fact, 9To5Google recently found a “tipster” that reportedly saw a prototype of the Google Goggles in action, and said they looked very similar to the Oakley Thumps (see below).

According to their “inside information” (which gets as specific as that), the technology is similar to the visual of The Terminator, and would require a constant Internet link to function properly.  Coincidentally, the new FCC application by Google states that the “next generation communication device” will use both wifi and bluetooth technology.

Will it catch on?

That remains to be seen.  I already wear glasses and the thought of wearing a second pair over top of my existing pair isn’t very appealing.  I’m also not convinced that it wouldn’t be too distracting to walk around effectively.  But, then again, the “cool factor” may just be enough to push it over the edge.

If Google were to really think outside the box (which they may be too structured to do by now), they could even combine Google Goggles and the Android phone into one device.  How might this work?  Image “projecting” the images from the phone (such as app GUI’s) into thin air using the glasses.  Nobody else would see the projection as it would remain on the lenses in front of your eyes.  By using the front-facing camera it could then capture your hand movements and simulate a touch-screen interface.

Angry Birds in the air anyone?

Think how easy it would be to take a picture, too.  Build in a zoom feature and you could get a close-up of any shot you wanted and then take the snapshot.

Of course, I know I’m getting ahead of myself.  Google hasn’t come out with anything that innovative in a long time.  But, to get an idea of what this might look like, check out this TED video from a while back:

Now image combing this technology with the Google Goggles concept.

Would it be cool enough for you to get one?

What would you pay?

[Image via &]


Chris Ruddell

I'm an Associate Pastor in the United Methodist Church and I serve as a trustee for Saint Paul School of Theology, with campuses in Kansas City, MO and Oklahoma City, OK. I'm also the author and creator of Church Tech Blog, at and the founder of Church Phone Apps at

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