Google's AR Glasses Cool but Would Anyone Actually Use Them?

Make no mistake Google's augmented reality goggles are fascinating and "cool." I applaud Google for developing them (if they have actually been developed; I suspect there's no working prototype yet) but I also wonder if anyone would actually buy and wear them. Of course some people would; but could the product break out of cult status?

The effort, called Project Glass, is an initiative of Google's advanced products team ("Google X"). It represents a form of "wearable computing" and it's very interesting as an extension of the Internet beyond more conventional devices like smartphones. 

Screen shot 2012-04-05 at 9.40.07 AM

Putting aside the fashion dimension, which I think is awkward in the images shared by Google, AR glasses might be useful while driving, shopping or in an art museum. However they might equally be distracting and annoying, removing you from the experience of being in the "real world."

There's already a backlash building against living your life with your nose in your smartphone. This would take the smartphone obsession one step further.  

Pricing is uncertain. If they were expensive (more than $199) they wouldn't see much uptake I would imagine. And what about advertising? Imagine ads literally popping up in front of your eyes. That would be highly undesirable to say the least. Other issues include battery size and life, as well as data plans and costs. 

Glasses are a logical place to put a wearable computer and at some point we will see wearable computers. However I'm skeptical that this product has mainstream appeal. But prove me wrong; I'd love to see it in action.