Google Glass Starts Shipping to First Explorer Developers
So far, Glass has been available only to developers who attended the annual Google I/O Conference in July 2012, where the devices were unveiled officially. Google Glass is not expected to be widely available to consumers until 2014, according to the company. In March, Google began demonstrating some of the cool third-party apps that could be used on Glass when the devices were shown off at the annual South by Southwest Conference (SXSW). Among them were a news app that delivered headlines and photos from The New York Times, an email app and a note-creation app for Evernote. The basic components of Glass feature an Android-powered display, a tiny Webcam, a GPS locator and an Internet connection node built into one side of a pair of glasses. The glasses are lightweight and may or may not have lenses.And even before Google Glass has hit the market, rumors of the next generation of the product already started showing up in February. The initial reports, based on a purported patent application, call for version 2 to work with both of the wearer's eyes using specialized lasers that would provide a dual-eye image, rather than the original version's one-eye display. Earlier this month, Google's investment arm, Google Ventures, launched a new "Glass Collective" organization to seek out and nurture startups that can add features and capabilities to the Glass project. In March, it was reported that the head-mounted Glass devices would be assembled in Santa Clara, Calif., by well-known Taiwanese device builder Foxconn to showcase electronics manufacturing capabilities in the United States. In a related move, Google in March began notifying applicants who were selected to purchase the first 8,000 sets of Google Glass when they become available for real-world use and testing later this year by consumers. In February, Google expanded its nascent test project for its Glass eyewear-mounted computer by inviting interested applicants to submit proposals for a chance to buy an early model and become a part of its continuing development. Those selected applicants will also have to pay $1,500 plus taxes, and will pick up the first-generation "Explorer Edition" devices at special events that will be set up in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles in the coming months.
Google also in March confirmed that prescription lenses will eventually be offered for users who need them to use Google Glass.