Google Glass is now available in the UK through the Explorer Programme. Here's everything you need to know about the wearable tech, including Google Glass release date, price, specs and more, including how to get Google Glass in the UK. Updated on 23/06/14. See also: Google Glass Explorer Edition 2.0 review.
How to buy Google Glass today
Prior to today's announcement Google had allowed early adopters only in the US to buy the specs while engineers continued to work on the hardware and software and third parties added to the ecosystem of apps. Although the prototype product remains in beta, anyone can now buy a Google Glass headset in the UK. So long as you're over 18, you've got £1,000 burning a hole in your pocket and Google has stock, that is.
Glass is expected to come out of beta and be officially available for sale sometime this year, and Google is sure to open up the Explorer Programme to other countries.
What is Google Glass?
Google's Project Glass is the next step in wearable technology from smart watches. In simple terms, Google Glass is the technology behind a smart pair of glasses. Right now only Google makes Google Glass hardware, but in the future it expects spectacles manufacturers to make the hardware using Google's own software and third party apps. Read: Samsung to rival Google Glass with Galaxy Glass.
The current, Google-made glasses don't have lenses but instead has a battery powered heads-up display (HUD) which sits just above the right eye. You simply glance upwards to view what's on the display. It's a bit like having your smartphone built into a pair of glasses, and in the future prescription glasses wearers will be able to add Google Glass tech to their bins.
Google's Project Glass was announced in 2012 as a concept which many pigeon holed as 'vapourware', something which would never come to fruition. It was given the unofficial name of 'Google Goggles'. However, Google has continued development as is well on the way to launching Google Glass fully to the public. See also: Google Glasses All Hype or Reality?
"We think technology should work for you—to be there when you need it and get out of your way when you don’t." said Google.
"A group of us from Google[x] started Project Glass to build this kind of technology, one that helps you explore and share your world, putting you back in the moment."
Google Glass: Release date
It was thought that Google Glass would be released in 2013, but that didn't happen.
If you live or visit the US, then you might be able to spot some people using Google Glass. The firm ran a competition for keen users to test the Google Glass Explorer version, although they still had to pay $1,500 for a pair.
Beyond the Explorer models, Google looks like it will be launching Google Glass to the public later this year. In it's FAQ about prescription Google Glass (see below), the firm said: "This marks the next phase in the evolution of Glass as we move towards a wider consumer launch later in 2014."
Google Glass: Price
Although Google charges developers and testers $1,500 (or £1,000 in the UK) for Google Glass, the consumer model will supposedly be sold for less than this – how much less, we don’t know.
What can Google Glass do?
With the combination of the HUD, a camera, microphone and GPS, Google Glass can carry out various tasks – much like a smartphone. To get a list of options you say 'ok glass'.
From here on you can use your voice to operated Google Glass. For example, it can take a picture if you say 'take a picture' or send a message which you dictate. It can also record video, provide information via a Google search, give directions, translate your voice and perform a Google Hangout video call.
Additionally, with Google Now, Google Glass can provide information before you even attempt to search for it. For example, it can provide details of a flight. Developers are also creating apps for Google Glass so there's plenty of potential for other functions.
Take a look at the video below to see what Google Glass is like to wear and use.
What is the specification of Google Glass?
As we've mentioned the device will come with a heads-up display, camera, microphone and GPS. Here are the official specifications for Google Glass.
Google Glass: Specs
• Adjustable nosepads and durable frame fits any face.
• Extra nosepads in two sizes.
• High resolution display is the equivalent of a 25 inch high definition screen from eight feet away.
• Photos - 5 MP
• Videos - 720p
• Bone Conduction Transducer
• Wifi - 802.11b/g
• 12 GB of usable memory, synced with Google cloud storage. 16 GB Flash total.
• One full day of typical use. Some features, like Hangouts and video recording, are more battery intensive.
• 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.
• Any Bluetooth-capable phone.
• The MyGlass companion app requires Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher. MyGlass enables GPS and SMS messaging.
Does Google Glass work with normal glasses?
The Explorer edition of Google Glass isn't compatible with regular glasses. However, Google has launched its range of prescription frames which includes two 'twist-on' sunglasess. It's called the Titanium Collection and consists of four different 'feather-light' styles - thin, bold, curve and split.
The prescription frames are priced at $225 on top of the regular price of Google Glass.
"We started with five colors and an overall design that could fit a wide range of Explorers, their lifestyles and interests. Today, we’re expanding our offering to a new group of Explorers, those who wear prescription glasses and enjoy sunglasses. The four new Glass frames and three shades will give even more people the opportunity to make Glass their own." said Google.
Is there a Google Glass app?
Yes. Google has launched an app called MyGlass to go with Google Glass. It requires Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich or later. It can be used to configure and manage Google Glass.
What colours of Google Glass are there?
Google Glass will be available in five colours; Charcoal, Tangerine, Shale, Cotton and Sky. In other words; black, orange, grey, white and blue.