If the flying car story wasn't enough of an indicator, science fiction is quickly becoming a reality.

Google is coming out with a new device called "Project Glass." It's a pair of shades that resemble something out of Star Trek, but lets you perform all of the functions of a smartphone all by using your voice. The glasses use "augmented reality" technology to show you a heads-up display (HUD) with various apps, like calendars, reminders, and the like, superimposed over whatever you're looking at. Quite honestly, it's a really cool step for Google.

The idea of a system like Google's Project Glass is to steep reality in immersive, non-disruptive data. All tasks would be integrated right into your visual field, keeping your hands free while still providing the informational amenities we've come to expect from smartphones and tablets. In the world of Project Glass, our devices' screens would melt away altogether in favor of translucent data draped right over the world as we know it. Who needs a high resolution display when you've got everything you need, right before your eyes?

The glasses are not available for purchase yet, but members of the Google team will begin testing the glasses in public. There is no word on the price yet, or a release date. (though a 2012 release is very unlikely.) You can see a video of the glasses here.

Of course if Google's doing it, I'm sure Apple will come out with their own version of AR glasses soon after. And Apple, I've already got the prefect name for you: the iPatch.

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