Web specs are back
05/14/2014 8:19 PM
05/14/2014 8:20 PM
Google is once again selling its Internet-connected eyewear to anyone in the U.S. as the company fine-tunes a device that has sparked intrigue and disdain for its potential to change the way people interact with technology.
The latest release of Google Glass comes a month after a one-day sale gave U.S. residents their first chance to buy the hottest accessory in geek fashion.
Google Inc. isn’t setting a time limit for people to buy Glass this time, although the company is emphasizing that the product remains in its test, or “Explorer,” phase.
As has been the case since Google began selling Glass to a select group in 2012, the device costs $1,500. It’s only available on Google’s website for now.
Glass, which comes in five different colors, looks like a pair of spectacles except the Explorer edition doesn’t contain any actual glass in the frame. Instead, the device has a thumbnail-sized screen attached above the right eye so a user can check email, see Twitter posts or get directions without having to grope for a phone.
Google is offering an option to add a titanium frame that can be fitted with prescription lenses or sunglasses from Maui Jim or Zeal Optics that can be clipped on. Google isn’t charging extra for the titanium frame or sunglasses.
The resumed sale of Google Glass is the latest indication that the Mountain View, California, company is nearing a mass-market release of the device.
Google is planning to release a more polished version of Glass by the end of this year that may sell for less than the price of the Explorer version. Analysts believe the cost will have to come down dramatically if Glass is to become anything more than a novelty worn by gadget lovers and wealthy consumers trying to impress their friends.
The parts and assembly of Glass cost only $152.47, based on an analysis by the research firm IHS Technology. Most of Glass’ costs stem from the extensive engineering and design that it took to invent the device, IHS said.
Google hasn’t provided a timetable for a mass-market release of Glass. More details could be announced next month at the company’s annual conference for developers in San Francisco.
Besides cost concerns, Glass also may have to overcome complaints about its potential to distract and intrude. Many of the misgivings about Glass center on its ability to take hands-free photos and video through voice-activated commands. The ability to record images so easily has raised privacy and piracy concerns and has prompted some casinos, theaters and bars to ban the use of Glass on their property.
Editor's Choice Videos
Join the Discussion
The State is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.