Last week, information leaked about Google’s plans to release a chunky pair of glasses that will basically act as a smartphone. But earlier this month, something much more impressive flew a little further under the radar—augmented-reality contacts.

They’re being developed by a company called Innovega with help from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, who helped give us a little thing called the Internet. They’ll project full 3D and HD images onto what will look like a 20-foot panoramic screen in your field of vision—and you’ll be putting them in by 2014.

Things like this tend to set our minds racing. And the more we learn, the more we get… a little ahead of ourselves. That’s why, to make sense of it all, we like to break down what they said (cold, scientific, occasionally downerish) versus what we heard (majestic, full of hope, in a word: awesome). Here it is…

What They Said: The lenses use optical filtering nanotechnology that projects images while still allowing you to see everything in the real world as well.
What We Heard: Minority Report. Tom Cruise. Those scenes where he looks like he’s conducting an orchestra while tracking a killer. It could be you… somehow.

What They Said: The Department of Defense is going to use it to enhance the information soldiers have at their disposal.
What We Heard: Fighting a war is about to look a hell of a lot like playing a video game.

What They Said: A future version of the technology could involve just having the lens directly implanted in your eye.
What We Heard: Your children could technically be cyborgs. Fortunately, they’ll also be kept safe by RoboCops.

What They Said: There’s no chance that your vision could be hijacked with just the lenses alone, as some seem to fear.
What We Heard: There’s a pretty damn good chance that your vision is going to be hijacked by these lenses. You may unwittingly be enlisting yourself in Skynet.

What They Said: They work in tandem with a pair of normal-looking, lightweight glasses.
What We Heard: We just got an excuse to start hunting for some new glasses.

—G.R.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Geoff Rynex