TIME Names Google Glass A ‘Best Invention Of 2012′

By Matt McGee

Google Glass, the wearable computing system that’s still months away from being delivered to early developer industry buyers, has made TIME magazine’s list of the best inventions of 2012.

It joins an interesting list of items that includes indoor clouds, a toy that turns an iPhone into a virtual dog and the Mars Curiosity rover.

In its short writeup, TIME says Google Glass will make augmented reality mainstream:

Glass is, simply put, a computer built into the frame of a pair of glasses, and it’s the device that will make augmented reality part of our daily lives. With the half-inch (1.3 cm) display, which comes into focus when you look up and to the right, users will be able to take and share photos, video-chat, check appointments and access maps and the Web. Consumers should be able to buy Google Glass by 2014.

Before hitting that 2014 consumer delivery estimate, Google must first ship Google Glass to the couple thousand people — mostly developers — that pre-ordered the item at the Google I/O conference in June. Google made a huge splash then with an over-the-top demo that featured co-founder Sergey Brin communicating with a group of Glass-wearing skydivers as they fell from the sky and landed on the Moscone Center roof. Glass has made a few appearances since then, most recently at a Diane von Furstenberg fashion show.

I’m one of those who pre-ordered Google Glass, and communication from Google about the device has been minimal at best. The company still says it’s planning to ship the first version of Glass next year.