Hands-on with Google Glass: Limited, fascinating, full of potential

The frothing excitement around this prototype, titanium-framed wearable computer has the tech world tripping over itself in a mad dash for Glass access. Ten thousand or more Google Glass units are now shipping to beta testers and winners of the If I Had Glass contest -- for a $1,500 price tag. But the big what, why, and how questions remain.

The answer, for now, is simple: Google Glass is Google on your face. These early frames ship with the ability to take the very most recent communications from your smartphone or Google accounts and show them to you in a head-up display. They take phone calls. They send texts, take photos and video, and show maps. They deliver search results. If you've played with Google Now, the Glass interface is strikingly similar...

Read the full story here. Source: CNET

Google details Glass specifications - bone conduction audio, 12GB usable storage, full day of 'typical use' battery life

Full device specs round out an evening of Google Glass news

We've seen that Google is getting ready to ship out Google Glass Explorer units, the developer preview of the Mirror API, and the Android companion app already this evening, and now it's time for the device specs. Google has released the tech specs of Google Glass, and it should answer some of the questions folks have. 

  • Fit: Adjustable nosepads and durable frame fits any face. Extra nosepads in two sizes.
  • Display: High resolution display is the equivalent of a 25 inch high definition screen from eight feet away.
  • Camera: Photos - 5 MP; Videos - 720p
  • Audio: Bone Conduction Transducer
  • Connectivity: Wifi - 802.11b/g; Bluetooth
  • Storage: 12 GB of usable memory, synced with Google cloud storage. 16 GB Flash total.
  • Battery: One full day of typical use. Some features, like Hangouts and video recording, are more battery intensive.
  • Charger: Included Micro USB cable and charger. While there are thousands of Micro USB chargers out there, Glass is designed and tested with the included charger in mind. Use it and preserve long and prosperous Glass use.
  • Compatibility: Any Bluetooth-capable phone. The MyGlass companion app requires Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher. MyGlass enables GPS and SMS messaging.

We're not really worried about things like CPUs and GPUs, or on-board RAM, and it looks like they have covered what's going to be important. The all day battery life is almost a must have with any wearable computer, so we hope that rings true. Also worth noting that Any phone with Bluetooth is said to be compatible. We'll soon know more about both I imagine.

[Source: AndroidCentral]

Google Sending Out Glass Explorer Edition This Month

Google’s human cyborg Glass project will take further shape later this month when the company sends out the Explorer Edition to early testers. The futuristic wearable tech, which was unveiled by Google last year, promises to completely change how we experience our daily lives. Instead of having your hands firmly grasped around a smartphone or two, Glass will bridge that gap between our growing social disconnect and digital dependency.

“This month Google hopes to ship Glass Explorer Edition, designed for the first people to examine the potential uses of Glass,” a Google spokesperson said on Wednesday. “Developers can tinker with Glass and consumers can try it out in the real world.”

Forget the potential of the technology: how will people realistically react to people wearing Glass out in public? Curiosity, disgust, apathy, intolerance. How long before one of these early devices goes missing? Glass is expected to cost around $1,500 when it’s released to consumers later this year, so the fee of admission certainly isn’t cheap. With early access provided to developers, it’ll be exciting to see what possibilities are thought up.

The practical applications we’ve seen so far are quickly replying to texts and snapping quick photos, among other handy uses. Google will definitely need to work on the aesthetics of the product itself; the concept isn’t exactly foreign, but an existing product certainly is. We’re approaching the halfway point of April, so the arrival of Glass is nearly upon us if Google can keep to its expected release.

[Source: TechnoBuffalo]

Google Glass will reportedly be built in America, at least initially

That $1,500 price tag for Google Glass Explorer Edition? Perhaps it makes a bit more sense considering that US labor will be used to manufacturer it. According to unnamed sources cited by Financial Times, the first run of production-quality Glass headsets will be built in Santa Clara, California. The reason? A lot is riding on the quality of Glass, and it's likely that Google just wants to keep a close eye on every single prototype that leaves the lab. In fact, it's not exactly uncommon -- the outfit did the same for its ill-fated Nexus Q, and Apple is building some of its iMacs here in the states as well.

It's also important to note that the initial batch of Glass headsets won't be high yield, so there's little reason for Google to look overseas with so few units slated for production. Whether or not the lines in NorCal will continue to hum once these things hit critical mass remains to be seen, but it is interesting that Hon Hai Precision (read: Foxconn) will reportedly manage the facility that cranks 'em out.

[Source: Engadget]

'If I had Glass' winners selected by Google, invites due out in coming days

Even though they're still priced at a cool $1500 plus tax, it seems there's a whole lot of people who really want to get hold of Google Glass. The 'If I had Glass' competition offered 8,000 eager early adopters a chance to get in on the ground floor, and now those lucky thousands have been chosen. 

The Explorer Program is only for individuals, so companies such as JetBlue that came up with pretty awesome looking suggestions will have to wait it out for now. But, in the coming days the lucky individuals that have been chosen to hand over their money for Glass will be notified of their success. Google says that the response has been 'enthusiastic.' 

So, if you entered, and you win, be sure to let us know. We just hope that LeVar Burton was one of them.

[Source: AndroidCentral]

Google Glass Will Work With Prescription Glasses

Google’s augmented reality Google Glass project is amazing: it’s wearable technology that will allow us to learn more about the world around us simply by viewing it through a small lens that hovers over our eyeball. There’s been concern that it won’t work well with people who require prescription glasses, however, and Google is laying those concerns to rest.

“The Glass design is modular, so you will be able to add frames and lenses that match your prescription,” the Google Glass team said today. “We understand how important this is and we’ve been working hard on it. Here’s a picture of +Greg Priest-Dorman [see above], a member of the Glass team and an early pioneer in wearable computing, wearing one of the prototypes we’re testing.”

Google is also allegedly working with Warby Parker, the now famous prescription glasses company, on creating fashionable designs for its project.

[Source: TechnoBuffalo]

Google confirms Glass will work with iPhone

Google held an event this week to show off its upcoming "Google Glass" interactive headset/system, and from that meeting came one important note for us iOS fans. Google confirmed that the system will definitely workwith Apple's iPhone. The exact details of the relationship aren't clear, but there are of course a number of ways your iPhone could work with Google's glasses, from simply acting as a Bluetooth headset, to a more complex relationship with a Google app, sharing information or even an Internet connection back and forth.

Obviously, Apple and Google aren't on the best terms at the moment, with Apple forcefully uprooting its deal with Google Maps to go with a more native solution. But Apple's also been very open to having Google apps on the App Store, so Google may work out some sort of solution where Glass plugs in through the Bluetooth connection or even right through the Lightning connector.

At any rate, it sounds like your iPhone and Google Glass will play nice. Consumer versions of the Glass units are expected later on this year, though the price will be steep -- somewhere around US$1,500, according to the speculation. The tech will only get cheaper, so it might not be long at all before you're wearing your interactive glasses and connecting to your iPhone.

[Source: TUAW]

Google Glass maps, translation and more shown off in new vid

Google's futuristic 'Glass' eyewear is slowly but surely coming into focus, with the Big G releasing a new video that gives a clue as to how the space-age pince-nez will function.

In several scenes, real-time GPS is shown to be feeding maps data into the eyepieces of Glass wearers, so you can see where you are on a map while driving or cycling.

The video also suggests that commands are summoned by saying "OK Glass", which calls up more voice-activated commands, including "Google", "Take a picture" and "Record a video".

It seems you won't need your hands for photographical functions then, but the futuristic specs are also going to include touchpad controls, which may come in handy for more sophisticated tasks.

Translation is another touted feature, so you could use Google's voice search to demand instructions on how to say a word in French, for instance.

Google's original 'One Day' trailer for Google Glass was a lot more ambitious, featuring icons that bob in front of your eye and other high-tech treats that likely won't be available when Google Glass eventually goes on sale.

I think it's good to see the search giant talking in more practical terms about what its glasses will be capable of. A new site explains some of its features, and opens the doors to fans who want to be among the first to use the new technology, if you can impress Google with your combination of words, pictures and relevant hashtags.

Better still, it reveals that Google Glass will come in black, grey, white, blue and orange! Hooray for colours!

[Source: CNET]

Google Glass Shows Up in San Francisco Bar, Freaks Everyone Out

The potential of Google Glass is exciting. A computer on your face—how futuristic! It’s a concept plucked straight out of science fiction, and people—at least tech enthusiasts—are ready to embrace it. But how will the public react to someone wearing such a strange device on their face?

At one San Francisco bar, reception was mixed. Tom Madonna, one of the co-owners of Shotwell’s, was a bit freaked out when he saw a couple casually stroll in wearing Google Glass. This could be telling for how others receive Google’s tech, and could lead to a new level of prejudice. 

As the Atlantic’s Alexis C. Madrigal describes, Shotwell’s is a “bar-bar:” beer, cash-only, pool table, salty snacks, etc. But it’s also a frequent haunt for the tech-elite, “right near the beating heart of the tech world,” Madrigal said. But Google Glass, a product one might think would be casually received in a place like Shotwell’s, was seen as absurd. “‘They were wearing Google Glasses!” Madonna explained on Facebook. “In public! In A BAR!”

Madrigal spoke with Madonna about his encounter.

“Anyone that cares what they look like is not gonna wear Google Glasses,” Madonna said. It’s true. We saw Google’s face computer at CES, and it was a spectacle, even among all the insane 4K TVs and weird accessories.

Madonna’s experience isn’t indicative of how every single person will react, but it does tell you that there will be an enormous stigma attached to Google Glass. Technology has a pervasive presence in every aspect of our lives, best encompassed by a smartphone. But you can turn a smartphone off, put it in your pocket—it can be out of sight. With Google Glass, it’s on your face, staring at everyone staring at you. It’s like those gaudy blinds glasses, only those are a joke.

[Source: TechnoBuffalo]

Google Glass to use bone conduction to transmit sound

If you were wondering exactly how Google's augmented reality specs are going to work, here are some more details. According to documents filed with the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), the specs will use bone conduction to transmit sound. In other words, they'll vibrate very subtly to make you hear, rather than using speakers.

Which is good news, as anyone who's had to endure N-Dubz leaking from someone's headphones will testify.

The audio element will work in a similar way to some children's toothbrushes, according to Ars Technica. A vibration transducer sets the bones in your noggin buzzing, which translate the vibrations to the cochlea part of your ear which reads them as sound. The technology can be found in some headphones, like Panasonic's prototypes found at CES this year. It's said to be far clearer than a traditional speaker in a normal pair of cans.

In Google's filing, the bone conduction element is only mentioned for when a video plays, but it could have many other uses. Music, and voice calls, for example. Or alerts.

The filing also reveals the tech specs should have 802.11 b/g 2.4GHz WLAN, and a low-energy Bluetooth 4.0 radio. Previously, we saw mention of a laser keyboard, that would project onto any available surface so you can type wherever you are.

So when will we see them? Google's Sergey Brin hopes to get units into developers' hands this year, with a full consumer launch slated for next year. Though considering the many hurdles involved, I wouldn't hold your breath.

The technology does look really cool though. And considering what Google Now is capable of, integrating that and more into a pair of glasses could really change how we interact with our gadgets. It's already inspired a raft of imitations.

[Source: CNET]