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Google is working on a top-secret successor to Google Glass

AP Photo/Seth Wenig
Someday we’ll all be cyborgs, declares a Google engineer who is building the technology that will accomplish it.
By Christopher Mims
BostonPublished Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Mary Lou Jepsen has done everything from leading the One Laptop Per Child project to inventing a new kind of computer display, and now she’s sleeping just three hours a night as she races to build a top-secret successor to Google Glass. That’s what she told an audience at MIT’s EmTech conference on Thursday, reports Rachel Metz at Technology Review.

As for Google’s existing Glass headset, “If we use the automobile analogy, we believe this would be the Model T,” Jepsen told the audience. “It’s lightweight, it’s comfortable, it’s cool.”

Future wearable technology will be so compelling, says Jepsen, that no one will be able to stop its widespread adoption. She called the speed at which you can access information on wearable computers “addictive.”

“It’s basically a way of amplifying you. I’ve thought for many years that a laptop is an extension of my mind. Why not have it closer to my mind, and on me all the time?” she added.

Jepsen is head of the display division at Google’s “Google X” skunkworks, which Jepsen has described as “the hardware division of Google.” Her secrecy about what Google is working on next comes directly from Sergey Brin, she noted during her talk. Brin is Google Glass’s most visible public advocate.

As for those who might not want to become “addicted” to wearable technology, Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google’s board, says that critics of Glass are “afraid of change” and that society will adapt. In the meantime, says Jepsen, she anticipates that wearables like Google Glass will help people with neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, by automatically identifying people in the wearer’s field of view.

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