Dyson was testing Google Glass style specs a decade ago

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Dyson is of course famous for its vacuum cleaners (along with hand driers and so forth), but the company has experimented with products in other fields -- including a tech effort which bears an uncanny resemblance to an admittedly much clunkier version of Google Glass.

It's not surprising that it's clunky by nature, though, given that Dyson was working on this concept some ten years ago.

The revelation came as part of the celebrations Dyson is holding for its 21st birthday, with the company deciding to reveal some of the inventions it had mulled over, which failed to see the light of day -- including the Dyson Halo specs.

Known as project number N066, the invention featured a full color 3D HUD projected from an arm at the side of the wearer's field of vision, just as with Google Glass, along with a mic and camera. Check out the sketch above courtesy of the Guardian. Apparently the HUD used two mirrors to reflect the display of twin mini-monitors to produce the effect of a 10in screen a meter in front of your eyes.

While the actual headset might appear pretty similar to Google's glasses, the attached pocket PC unit that powered Dyson's Halo is certainly very different, hooking onto your belt and not exactly being a very svelte solution. Still, this was a long time ago, of course.

The Halo also boasted a Siri-style virtual assistant that could handle basic voice commands, and a wrist-worn control pad to guide a mouse pointer around the UI.

It isn't unusual to see early versions of hardware which never came to fruition; though it is surprising to see this particular effort is from Dyson. It was too far ahead of its time -- and indeed Google Glass is criticized for being chunky even today, with plenty of doubters who are questioning whether it can achieve anything like mainstream acceptance given its appearance. This is something Google is working on, though, with the likes of Luxottica (the maker of Ray-Ban and Oakley sunglasses).

As to whether Google was working on its own vacuum cleaner ten years ago? Well, the company is certainly adept when it comes to hoovering up massive quantities of data...

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