Today Google unveiled preliminary designs and a short concept piece showcasing Project Glass, its augmented reality initiative to create smart shades straight out of Vernon Vinge's Rainbows End or Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson's Transmetropolitan.

Google releases a preview of its augmented reality glassesS

The company is attempting to start a public dialogue about these devices, presumably so Project Glass doesn't devolve into an AR consumerist hellhole depicted by such artists Keiichi Matsuda. Stylistically, I'd prefer these glasses in monocle form, because everyone enjoys dressing up as the Monopoly man. According to the New York Times, public tests of this augmented eyewear should begin soon.