When Google first officially announced the Project Glass heads-up glasses, it did so with a concept video depicting a mapping and local search experience that played to the strengths of a hands-free computing device. According to Project Glass product lead Steve Lee, the UI and features shown in that video were actual targets for features Google hopes to have in the first version of the product. In an interview with Fast Company, he said that "we definitely didn't put out that video with the intention of it being some futuristic video that's many, many years away."

Lee also pointed out that Google is thinking hard about the photography experience — something the company has been talking about since the Google+ photographer's conference. Based on the several demos we've seen since then, we're betting that feature is further along than the rest. It's not a guarantee that the full feature set or UI will persist, but it's a good sign that Google intends to ship a product and soon rather than just dream about what could happen in five years. How soon? Lee said an earlier leak that had pegged a release before the end of 2012 was "pretty aggressive timing," which is a pretty good indication that Google won't make that timeframe.

Nevertheless, Lee did make it clear that he considers Google on the clock when it comes to thinking about new features, noting that "If it can't be done in a reasonable time frame, then nothing else really matters."