19 Apr Google Finally Reveals Glass Specs
The future of wearable gadgets is nearing. Google announced their latest venture into innovative technologies with Project Glass last year, which has kickstarted the increased interest in wearable gadgets. About a year on and they have finally released the specs, and the first shipment of the Explorer editions of Google Glass to those who won the #ifihadglass competition are ready to go.
What is Google Glass?
Just in case you missed it the first time around, Google Glass is a wearable computer with a head-mounted display (HMD) (fancy, techy glasses) that acts as a camera, display, touchpad, battery and microphone. It makes use of a prism screen to bring information from your phone right in front of you without obstructing your field of vision. Google envisions glass as a way to keep you connected everywhere, all the time, allowing users to film, take pictures, search, translate, get real-time directions, update social networks and access calendars on the go. Interacting with Glass can be done either using a brief gesture on the touchpad or making use of the microphone and speaking to the device. Science fiction is becoming reality!
What’s The Update?
Google Glass will work with any Bluetooth- capable phone, however, in order to make use of the GPS and SMS capabilities, you will need the MyGlass Companion app. The app is currently only available to Android devices with Android 4.0.3 and up, with future compatibility for iOS, Windows and Blackberry devices uncertain at present.
The display will sit just above your right eye and will have a resolution that “is the equivalent of a 25 inch high-definition screen from eight feet away.” What this translates to in terms of megapixels is all just speculation at this point. The first version of Google Glass will feature a 5 megapixel camera that is capable of shooting video at a resolution of 720p. To store all of your ad hoc photos and videos, Glass will offer 16GB of flash storage, of which 12GB will be usable and of course synced with Google Drive (Google’s cloud storage service). Google states that the battery will last a full day “of typical use,” similar to most smartphone batteries, however, more intensive tasks such as Google Hangouts and video recordings will shorten that battery life. However, the Explorer edition will also come with a micro USB port and charger cable to keep the device powering on.
This is all fairly cool stuff, but arguably the coolest thing about Google Glass at the moment is the bone conduction transducer feature (which sounds like something straight out of a sci-fi movie). This will transmit sound from Glass to the inner ear through the bones of the user’s skull, which means Glass does not require headphones for watching videos, being a part of a Hangout or taking a call.
The Explorer editions will be available in five colours: Charcoal, Tanegrine, Shale, Cotton and Sky, which translates to black, orange, grey, white and blue.
When Can I Get My Hands On Google Glass?
While Google have not announced a release date for consumers, the original suggestion of 2014 has been pushed forward to the end of 2013. CNET reported in February that Google have confirmed Glass will be available to customers at the end of 2013 and at a lower price than the $1,500 for the Explorer editions. Just in time for Christmas!
In an interview with the BBC this weekend, Schmidt said Google will probably be making some changes to the Explorer Edition before a final consumer release goes ahead in early 2014.
For those of you eager to get in on the wearable gadget trend, you’ll have to wait till next year: