Google Glass for the first time is available for sale to beta Glass Explorers in the United Kingdom, now that Google has expanded sales of the head-mounted computers to another nation outside of the United States.
The launch of the still-beta Glass devices in the U.K. was announced June 23 in a post on the Google Glass Google+ page. "The world sees the U.K. as a center (actually, a centre) of innovation. It has produced some of the greatest technology inventors and inventions of the last century, and people on the ground are always excited to explore new products and ideas," the post said.
Google Glass will hold a featured London Demo Days event on June 27 to 28 where prospective Glass users can come and try Glass for themselves, according to the post. Interested attendees can register to come to the demo event, and they can also register to buy a Glass device at the official U.K. Glass Website.
Glass units in the U.K. are priced at 1,000 British Pounds, which is equivalent to about $1,703 U.S. dollars.
The Glass devices built specifically for the U.K. include software that is localized for the British market, including such things as weather temperatures being listed in Celsius rather than in Fahrenheit, as well as improved voice recognition for U.K. accents, according to Google. The Glass team is also working with U.K. developers to provide locally relevant Glassware for use by customers across the pond.
Google Glass has been a topic of conversation among techies since news of the futuristic eyeglass-mounted computing devices first surfaced in 2012 at the Google I/O developer's conference in the U.S. Developers at the show were offered the chance to buy early "Explorer" versions of Glass for $1,500 for testing and development. Glass was the hit of that conference.
Since the first Glass devices began shipping to Explorers in April 2013, some users have already been modifying their Glass units to work with prescription lenses, based on reports from users on social media sites and other sources.
In May 2014, Google began selling the beta version of its Glass devices to anyone who wants one in the United States as long as Google has them in stock. The Glass devices, which sell for $1,500 plus taxes, can be configured and ordered at the Glass Website, according to Google. Several options and add-ons can raise the price of the devices.
Earlier this month, Google announced its first five development partners for its Glass at Work project, which focuses on building work-related Glass applications that could interest businesses to bring Glass into their operations. Google launched its Glass at Work program in April and has been working behind the scenes to widen the initiative, according to an earlier eWEEK report.
Also earlier this month, Google Glass announced that Glass devices featuring high-fashion frames designed by American fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg will go on sale in June. In March 2014, Google announced that it was partnering with eyeglass frame vendor The Luxottica Group to someday offer trendy frames from famous makers such as Ray-Ban, Oakley, Vogue-Eyewear and Alain Mikli as Glass units get closer to rumored retail production.
In May 2014, Google announced that beta versions of Glass devices can now be purchased by anyone in the United States as long as the company has them in stock.