Google's Eric Schmidt said the company's wearable computer, Glass, is about a year from reaching the market.
"We've just started distributing it to the first developers," Schmidt, Google's executive chairman, told a BBC reporter. "It's fair to say there will be thousands in use over the months and there will be changes made based on feedback. But it's fair to say it's a year-ish away."
Schmidt also told the BBC that Glass, which can take photos and video surreptitiously, will create a new conversation about privacy and digital etiquette.
"In general, these kinds of body-wear devices will bring about a whole bunch of such concerns," he said during the taped interview. "The fact of the matter is we'll have to develop a whole new social etiquette. It's obviously not appropriate to wear these glasses in situations where recording is not correct. We already have these situations with phones."
Google has been getting a lot of attention for its work on Glass, a pair of computerized eye glasses designed to take photos and video, send and receive email and even post comments and pictures on social media. The glasses are set up to be controlled by voice, gesture and touch.
Just last week, Google started distributing Glass to developers and its first early testers, who have been dubbed Explorers.
In March, the company chose about 8,000 people to act as Explorers. In its #IfIhadglass project, people had applied to be Explorers by posting brief descriptions of what they would do with Glass if they had a pair.
Then last week, Google made it clear what Explorers and developers could not do with Glass. For instance, they are not allowed to give them away or sell them.
If an Explorer goes against these terms, the company retains the right to deactivate the glasses.
Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her email address is [email protected].
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