Google is always ahead of the ball, pushing technology, and preparing to invent the next best thing. I recently had a friend imagine a world where you could purchase contact lenses with iPhones built in, so we could watch videos while we run, easily view our GPS while we drive, take hands-free pictures, and more. That technology is now a lot closer than we think, thanks to Google’s most recent addition to the industry: Google Glass.

These voice-activated glasses are meant to give viewers the ability to use just about any aspect of both Google and Smartphones, completely hands free. From voice-to-text, to sharing what you see, it’s definitely got a lot of potential.

Here are a few of the coolest capabilities they’ve outlined on their website.

  • Translate Your Voice: “Okay Glass, Google ‘half a pound in Chinese.’”
  • Take a Picture: “Okay glass, take a picture.”
  • Get Directions
  • Share What You See

While we’ve heard that there are some complications and technical difficulties, I can only assume that the technology with become exponentially better with the second generation. For example, it might be difficult to pronounce the Chinese translation accurately (believe me, I’ve tried), but perhaps subsequent generations will have detachable earphones or speakers, making it easy to play the translation for someone else. There’s always going to be a learning curve for this kind of new technology, both for users and for the device itself, so the reported issues of low battery life, dizziness (as a result of only one eye viewing the screen), and privacy might soon dissipate. Additionally, I don’t see all of those capabilities sticking around. The GPS feature encourages the use of these glasses while driving, which is just another added distraction that drivers don’t need and lawmakers don’t want.

Google Glass have gotten a lot of attention in the tech world, but aren’t available for the general public just yet. (And at $1,500 a pop, only a small minority could afford it.) After a very successful campaign to distribute glasses to those who had great ideas to use them (#ifihadglass), Google is still in the testing and modifying phase. Many techies lined up to get their hands on the first generation of this crazy new product, but surveys show that only 10% of Americans would actually wear them. We can’t judge the future based on surveys alone, as we learned with the initially unpopular products like Bluetooth and Twitter. Just because Americans think they won’t use the product, doesn’t mean it’s true.

So what do you think? Are they cool or creepy? Are they a little too Sci-Fi, or just the right amount? Do you think they’ll change the landscape of Smartphones in the foreseeable future, or will everyone just look like this?