Summary: Message claims that attached images show an amazing new mobile computing device developed by Google that combines a touch screen, a camera, a scanner, WiFi, and Google Maps to give unprecedented access to information while on the move (Full commentary below).
Status: No such device currently exists - Images represent a conceptual design for a device that might be developed in the future
Example:(Submitted, November 2009)
Subject: Fw: Amazing Device - GOOGLE has Done it Again !!! A Very Smart Innovation
Check out this device ... those smart people at Google have done it again
Guess what you can do with a touch screen, camera, scanner, WiFi, and google maps ...
View a building through it, and it gives you all the information about that building....
Choose a building and touch a floor and it tells you more details of the building. You can use it when you want to know a car model, an insect name, what kind of food is served at a restaurant and how much, who built a bridge, etc. etc.
It’s got a scanner built in
so you can use it this way when you want to check the meaning of a word in the newspaper, book, magazine, etc. It would be much easier to read a real book. You can use the dictionary, wikipedia, thesaurus and anything else available on the web. What do you think?
Indoor guide: Works in a building, airport, station, hospital, etc.
Automatic simultaneous translation: here Latin to English.
Search keyword: Helpful when you want to find out a word from a lot of text in newspaper/book.
Nutrition: This kind of function would be helpful for health freaks..
image courtesy Mac Funamizu
The "Looking Glass" is not yet a real device, but just a design concept developed by graphics designer Mac Funamizu
According to this circulating message, a series of attached images depict an amazing new mobile computing device created by Internet giant, Google, that can provide the user with a wealth of information while on the move. The images show a device that consists of a transparent screen that, when held in front of an object such as a building or food product, can instantly display information about the object accessed from the Internet via wifi. The message claims that the device can also provide automatic translations of documents framed in the screen and even search framed documents for specific keywords or phrases.
However, no such device has been created by Google. In fact, as yet, no such device actually exists. The images included in the message represent a conceptual design for the future of Internet search created by Mac Funamizu, a web and graphics designer based in Tokyo, Japan. In February 2008 Mac Funamizu published his design concept in an article on his blog titled "Future of Internet Search: Mobile version". He illustrated the concept with a series of images showing how such a device might work and noted as an introduction:
This is what I wish the internet search will be able to do with a mobile device in the NEAR future. Touch screen, built in camera, scanner, WiFi, google map (hopefully google earth), google search, image search… all in one device.
The designer of the Looking Glass Concept believes that future user interfaces will be much easier to use, more intuitive, and will understand human feelings to some extent. Looking Glass visualises the world. It's a real-time information visualisation assistant that can be carried anywhere.
However, Mac Funamizu has never claimed or even implied that the device featured in his design already exists. In his blog FAQ, Mac clearly states that the devices he features are "just concepts". He also notes that he has no plans to develop his conceptual devices, "but it would be great if someone could really do it".
Thus, it seems that some unknown prankster has taken some of the images from Mac's article, and tacked on the spurious claim that the device in the images already exists and was developed by Google.
While Mac Funamizu's device is still only conceptual, it may not be too long before devices with at least some of these capabilities actually do exist. Mobile devices such as Apple's iPhone already give users easy access to large amounts of information on the go and the capabilities of such devices is advancing rapidly. In fact, Mac Funamizu has already envisioned an iPhone version of his Looking Glass concept. So, its a fair bet that very sophisticated mobile search devices will be readily available in the not to distant future.
As well as "Looking Glass", Mac Funamizu has created design concepts for a number of other futuristic devices, including a mobile phone with a holographic display and an electronic sign language interpreter.