As technology has become lighter, thinner and more portable a distinct trend towards wearable technology has begun to emerge. Both Apple and Google are preparing to release their first pieces of wearable tech in 2013, with Apple’s iWatch and Google’s Project Glass set to go on sale before year’s end.
What is Google Glass?
Google Glass is the first serious attempt to make wearable computers a reality. Google’s Project Glass is the product of a Google X lab R&D initiative to create an augmented reality (AR) device that can be worn like a normal pair of glasses. The first prototype was built in 2011, and weighed some 8 pounds. After several rounds of protoyping, the device now weighs about the same as your average pair of spectacles.
Google Glass Features
Google Glass features a heads-up display (HUD) which allows for the overlay of information over your normal vision. A camera on the front of the glasses enables you to take photos and make HD video recordings.
With Google Glass you can do just about everything that you can do with your smartphone, but without using your hands. You can record a video, take a picture, search, translate in real-time, get directions, send a message, display weather information and flight details or even start a Google+ hang-out. The user turns on these features and interacts with Google Glass entirely via spoken commands. To start recording a video you would simply say “Ok, glass, record a video”.
Google Glass “sees” what you see, so when you take a photo or start recording a video, you’re able to capture the exact angles, timing and sequence of events that you yourself experienced. Google Glass is internet-enabled with Wi-Fi and GPS built in, and you can also tether to an iPhone or Android device to use 3G/4G data.
When Will Google Glass Be Available?
A limited number of people have already got hold of Google Glass via the (now closed) Glass Explorer program. Between Feb 20 and Feb 27, Google invited “bold, creative individuals” to take part in an early adopter program by tweeting what they would do with Glass under the hash-tag #ifihadglass. Those selected were eligible to receive a Google Glass Explorer Edition, with a price-tag of $1500.
The original plan was for a 2014 launch of the ‘consumer’ model, but recent reports have pointed towards a Google Glass release date in late 2013.
How Much Will Google Glass Cost?
The NY Times has quoted “several Google employees familiar with the project who asked not to be named,” who had stated that Google Glass is set “to cost around the price of current smartphones.” With that in mind, Google Glass will likely cost somewhere in the range of $500-$800.
Google Glass will certainly be sold online, however there is the possibility that Google’s plans for retail stores may eventuate before the year’s end in which case the device would be one of Google’s flagship products.
What are your thoughts on Google Glass? Would you wear them? Share your thoughts in the comments below.