Eye of the robot: Google working on Android-powered glasses?

Google Goggles Diego Rivera Frida KahloGoogle (s GOOG) may be getting ready to take augmented reality to the next level: According to a report, an Android-powered pair of glasses will go on sale by the end of 2012.

If so, get ready for a new take on the concept of wearable computing. A number of smart gadgets that track your movements and assess your health havemade waves over the last year, but Google Glasses (just my suggested name) would be something unique: a network-connected pair of spectacles with a camera and a display that could record images and video of one’s surroundings and display information from elsewhere on a tiny screen, according to a report in The New York Times.

If it sounds like a potential privacy minefield, that’s because it is. There are obviously all kinds of benign implications for such a device, such as tourism or spectator sports, but it’s already easy enough for people to walk around recording each other with smartphones. The first production of these glasses will probably make it painfully obvious, however, that you’re wearing a computer over your eyes (and supplant the glasses designed for the armed forces as the world’s most effective birth-control device).

The Times cites an earlier report from 9to5Google.com that said the glasses would be operated by head movements and might resemble a pair of Oakleys. It’s likely to feature some of the technology behind the Google Goggles app, and at the price of a modern smartphone (between $250 to $600, according to the report), it might have a pretty limited audience at first.