Google Glass what you need to know
When Google Glass was unveiled, the tech world instantly fell into two camps. Camp one was excited: we’re living in the sci-fi future! Camp two, though, wasn’t so happy. It’s vapourware! some said, while others worried that Google just wanted to plaster ads on the entire world. Is either camp correct? Let’s find out.
What is Google’s Project Glass?
Google Glass is the attempt to make wearable computing mainstream, and it’s effectively a smart pair of glasses with an integrated heads-up display and a battery hidden inside the frame.
Wearable computing is not a new idea, but Google’s enormous bank account and can-do attitude means that Project Glass could well be the first product to do significant numbers.
When will it be released?
Originally Project Glass was mooted for a public release in 2014 at the earliest but the latest news on the Google Glass release date suggest it’s beginning to look like we could see consumer units by the end of 2013.
What does Google Glass do?
The core of Google Glass is its tiny prism display which sits not in your eyeline, but a little above it. You can see what is on the display by glancing up. The glasses also have an embedded camera, microphone, GPS and, reportedly, use bone induction to give you sound.
Voice control is used to control the device; you say ‘ok glass’ to get a range of options including taking pictures, videos, send messages using speech to text, ‘hang out’ with people or get directions to somewhere. You access these options by saying them out loud.
Most of this functionality is self explanatory; hang out is Google’s video conferencing technology and allows you to talk to a people over web cam, and stream them what you are seeing and the directions use Google Maps and the inbuilt GPS to help you find your way.
What is the Project Glass price?
The NYT again: according to “several Google employees familiar with the project who asked not to be named,” the glasses are expected “to cost around the price of current smartphones.” So that’s around $750/£500, then, possibly with the help of a hefty Google subsidy.
The latest hints definitely suggest a price that will make them attractive to technophiles.
The developer versions – traditionally more expensive that the final consumer units – were made available for pre-order for $1,500 (£966).