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Google Glass--the wearable computer with an optical display--is representative of the move towards permanent internet connection and information access many of us increasingly crave. Integration with other things we use on a day-to-day basis, such as cars, is the next priority. To this end, Mercedes-Benz has developed a new navigation system compatible with Google's sci-fi spectacles to create a seamless transition between driving, and your life outside your car.
Mercedes' head of North American R&D, Johann Jungwirth, told Automotive News (subscription required), "This is an example of a seamless transition as you stay connected when you get to your car, when you drive, and when you leave your car."
With regards to navigation specifically, that means a system whereby Google Glass will continue your car's sat-nav directions even once you've parked--taking you from parking space to the door of your destination. Mercedes has been developing the technology since July. There's little doubt other functions will become available with time, but Mercedes says it will offer compatibility once Google Glass is commercially available--the technology is as-yet only available to Google's team of 'Glass Explorers'.
Research has shown that almost half of German drivers are interested in accessing the internet in their cars using Google Glass--as the perfect way of handling in-car functions without taking your eyes from the road. Jungwirth adds that he doesn't want the system distracting drivers from the road, though.
Useful as it is, Google Glass means far more than just navigation and infotainment integration. We recently saw the first on-track video shot with the unit's camera function, and gearheads are sure to find other uses for the unusual headset.
Far from being an Orwellian nightmare, Google Glass could become a real handy tool for the average car nut--accessing data while wrenching or simply taking snaps on your favorite road. With Mercedes, it'll help you get there too...