glassextras 12Image: Michael Homnick

Google may integrate Wallet into Google Glass (because that's what engineers do)

Google Glass is still a prototype product—a fuzzy vision of smartglasses in a volatile state of becoming. Anything can happen to Google Glass. Its R&D overlords can add and subtract features at whim. As well they should. 

So it should come as absolutely no surprise that Google is working on a feature that would add its Wallet mobile payments system to Glass’ bag of voice-controlled tricks. That’s the news from TechCrunch, which reported Monday that Google is working on a feature that would allow users to send money to friends simply by uttering “send money.”

Surely this wouldn’t pose any security risks. Back in the day, bad people merely grabbed Glass off your face and chucked it on the pavement. But in the future, ne’er-do-wells might stick their fingers in their jackets, and order you to send them money. At fingerpoint.

glassextras 1 Image: Michael Homnick

"OK Glass, send money to the man I'm looking at right now. When you're done, send cops."

Wallet transfers are already available for Gmail users, and would presumably entail Google’s standard Wallet transaction fee, which is currently nil assuming you already have cash loaded into your Wallet account. If you need to use a credit card—which would seem to defeat the “convenience” of Glass-enabled transactions—it’s likely Google’s standard fees would apply: 2.9 percent of the amount transferred or 30 cents, whichever is higher.

A Glass version of Wallet certainly isn’t the coolest feature Google could deliver to its Explorer version of the smartglasses, but we have to assume the company is working on this feature along with scores of other enhancements. The Glass OS is Android, after all, so pretty much anything you experience on your smartphone is at least on the table for this amorphous, anyone’s-guess wearable.

Most R&D remains tucked away behind close doors, but sometimes leaks like this seep out. The world rewards these leaks with rapt attention every time, because anything relating to Glass is headline-worthy in today’s tech information economy. But it’s all really quite meaningless until Google ships a final product to consumers.

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