Google Glass will be launched later this year for retail sales to buyers, which is at least months earlier than the 2014 retail debut the company has been targeting since last year, a source inside Google told eWEEK today.
"Our goal is to launch Glass later this year," the source told eWEEK in an email response May 21 when asked if rumors circulating in online news reports about an earlier release timeframe are accurate.
The Glass project was unveiled officially for the first time to developers at the June 2012 Google I/O Developers Conference, where the eyewear-mounted computer was the hit of the conference. Since the first showy demonstrations of Google Glass a year ago, Google has piled more and more mystery, detail and excitement onto the Glass project, resulting in a flurry of headlines every time Glass is mentioned by the company.
When it comes to hype, Glass has had it hands down from the start.
And since that June 2012 debut, Google has insisted that while developers and a small segment of trial users, called "Explorers," would be able to buy early copies for testing, the retail debut of the devices wouldn't hit retail stores anywhere until 2014.
That's all changed now, according to the Google source, who would not elaborate on why the retail launch schedule is being moved up.
Not all the news about Glass has been flattering, of course. Privacy experts have been publicly sharing some of their concerns about how Glass might be detrimental to privacy as the devices begin showing up in cities and towns across the nation.
A West Virginia legislator even introduced a bill this past March that would have banned drivers from operating motor vehicles while wearing Glass and similar head-mounted devices, but the bill stalled and no action was taken in the last session of the state House.
Some members of the U.S. Congress are also taking up the cause of asking lots more questions about the privacy implications of Google Glass, even before the devices are sold to the general public, according to as recent eWEEK report.
Earlier this month, the Bi-partisan Congressional Privacy Caucus sent a letter to Google CEO Larry Page asking some pointed questions about how Google planned to ensure that the privacy of users, and more important, non-users, was being protected. The members of the caucus noted a series of stories in the media that had emerged about Google Glass, particularly the ability to find detailed information about a person just by looking at them, and letting Google perform facial recognition and then providing all available information.