Everything you need to know about Google's Project Glass
You might have heard of Google Glass or Project Glass, but what is it? We'll tell you everything you need to know about Google Glass right here. Updated on 23/04/13.
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."
What is Google Glass?
Google's Project Glass is the next step in wearable technology from smart watches. In simple terms, it's a smart pair of glasses.
The glasses don't have lenses but instead has a battery powered heads-up display (HUD) which sits just above the right eye. You simple glance upwards to view what's on the display. It's a bit like having your smartphone built into a pair of glasses.
When will Google Glass be released?
Google hasn't set an exact release date for Google Glass yet but has said that a consumer version will be available by the end of 2013 – likely to be in the fourth quarter.
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.
If you're interested in Google Glass, you can sign up for updates on the website. "There will be more chances to get Glass at a later date." said Google.
Update 23/04/13: Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt has told the BBC that the launch of Google Glass is about "a year-ish away" pegging its release date at around the second quarter of 2014. He said "we'll make some product changes" based on the feedback from developers.
How much will Google Glass cost?
Although Google has charged developers and testers $1,500 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?
Google hasn't announced the detailed specifications of Google Glass yet but we'll let you know when there is a spec sheet. As we've mentioned the device will come with a heads-up display, camera, microphone and GPS. We expect it will run a customised version of Android while other possibilities include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Update 16/04/13: Google has announced the following 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 confirmed that there will be a prescription solution for Project Glass.
"The Glass design is modular, so you will be able to add frames and lenses that match your prescription. We understand how important this is and we've been working hard on it." said Google.
Unfortunately, the prescription frames won't be ready for the Google Glass Explorer launch.
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.