Tech prof laid groundwork for Google Glass

Nearly two decades ago — before search engines or smartphones — Thad Starner, then 24, sat in front of a qualifying panel at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For several hours he was grilled by four professors, a prerequisite before he could write his Ph.D thesis.

At the end, one of his inquisitors asked: Hey, Thad, were you using your wearable computer?

Starner, clad in a get-up that covered his left eye with wires leading down to a keyboard on his forearm, plus a satchel holding a battery pack and a measly 80 megabyte hard drive, said: Yes.

His answer touched off a half-hour debate that almost culminated in MIT conferring its degree on “Thad Starner and his computer.” That, sadly, did not come to pass.

“It would have been hilarious,” the 44-year-old, now on faculty at Georgia Tech, said in hindsight.

Recommended for you

Recommended for you

Recommended for you

Most read

  1. 1 Roger Stone ordered to explain posted photo of federal judge | Jamie Dupree - AJC
  2. 2 Parker Braun explains his rationale for transferring from Georgia Tech
  3. 3 WEATHER-TRAFFIC: Thunderstorms move through metro Atlanta at lunch

Starner’s work at MIT’s Media Lab would later lay some of the groundwork for Google Glass. Since 2010, he been a technical lead for the project, as well as the founder and director of the Contextual Computing Group at Georgia Tech’s College of Computing.

Read the full story on

More from AJC