Is architecture ready for Google Glass? The augmented reality that Google Glass promises may not seem architectural, but in truth the two couldn’t be more related. Augmented reality is, after all, the layering of information over the built environment.

We already have some sense of what that information will be thanks to our smartphones, which put infinite digital information at our fingertips through their apps and services. What will change is how we visually receive and process that information. And, unlike the smartphone that you keep on your pocket, Google Glass will be actively working as long as we wear it.

With the advent of Google Glass Beta Testing we can start to see what it’s like to have the collective data of cloud computing projected directly onto our visual experience like never before (eye phone, anyone?). Will we eventually look at the architecture around us and see a new digital world?

We could have a wealth of relevant knowledge overlaid onto our visual experience. Looking for coffee or the nearest gas station? Directions for the most efficient path will be readily displayed over the sidewalk. Thinking of moving to a new neighborhood? Discover vacancies in nearby buildings by scanning their facades, see interior photos the seller has posted, and then link directly to the realtor’s website. Need some face-to-face socializing? Look around to see if your friends have checked in nearby and take a 3D tour of the restaurant where you’ll invite them to for lunch.


It points to, in a sense, increasingly transparent architecture. You won’t just see a building; you’ll also see any relevant data concerning what’s going on inside that building. We’ll be increasingly aware of the inner happenings of our surroundings in a myriad of ways. Read on.