Google Glass to Soon Go Out to Next Rounds of Users
Google Glass isn't ready for the general public, but sales of the devices are now expected to begin sometime later this year, according to a recent eWEEK report. That's at least months earlier than the 2014 retail debut the company had been targeting since last year, a source inside Google told eWEEK. The source 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 a recent eWEEK report.Other big Glass news arrived May 16 at this year's Google I/O Developers Conference, where Glass-enabled Facebook and Twitter apps were launched so that early Glass testers can use the devices to hook up with their favorite social media platforms. Twitter announced its new app for Glass in a post on The Twitter Blog, highlighting the app's ability to let users easily share photos and connect with others using the 140-character messaging platform. Glass users of the Twitter app will also be able to keep up with people they follow on Twitter using notifications for mentions, direct messages and tweets from specific users. To obtain the Twitter app for Glass, users can visit the Google MyGlass Website and turn on the app. The new Facebook app is also available now, allowing users to upload photos to their timelines and add descriptions with voice. Other new Glass apps that are scheduled in the future include Tumblr, CNN and Elle, which are still in development. In March, Google began demonstrating some of the cool third-party apps that were first made available for the first Glass devices that were shipping to early users. Among them were a news app that delivers headlines and photos from The New York Times, an email app and a note-creation app for Evernote. Earlier in May, the first software updates for Glass were distributed by Google, including new features such as incoming Google+ notifications for users. The new Google Glass XE5 software update features a host of improvements, such as crash reporting for the devices, incoming Google+ notifications for direct shares, comments and Google+ mentions, and increased speed for transcription of queries and messages.
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.