Google Offers Some Glass Users a Chance to Invite a Pal

By Todd R. Weiss  |  Posted 2013-07-31 Print this article Print

Michael Anderson, meanwhile, said he was holding out hope to get an invite. "I still keep my phone within 3 feet of me at all times looking for a chance to get this," he wrote.

Teri Centner wrote that she was disappointed when the coveted email never appeared in her inbox. "I didn't get one," she posted, along with an unhappy face icon.

The first Google Glass units began shipping in April to developers who signed up at the June 2012 Google I/O conference to buy an early set for $1,500 for testing and development, where it was the hit of the conference. Google also then began shipping Glass units to lucky users who were selected in a contest for the opportunity to buy their own early versions of Glass. 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 part of its continuing development.

In March, Google also began notifying a pool of 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. Those selected applicants have been receiving their units in waves.

Each Google Glass device includes adjustable nose pads and a high-resolution display that Google said is the equivalent of a 25-inch high-definition screen from 8 feet away. The glasses also feature a built-in camera that takes 5-megapixel photos and video at 720p. Audio is delivered to wearers through their bones, using bone-conduction transducers.

Google Glass isn't yet 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.

The concept of Google Glass has been a hit so far for Google, but some critics argue that they continue to be worried about the privacy implications surrounding the use of Glass, which is an eyewear-mounted computer that features a still camera, a video cam and other real-time recording features.

Glass units have been going through a series of monthly software updates that are adding new features and improvements. Earlier in July, Glass updates included improved and expanded voice command capabilities that allow Glass users to do more things without having to touch any Glass controls. The update was the third so far for Glass. In June, Glass got a big upgrade for its camera with the release of new software that now better detects low-light situations and includes automatic High-Dynamic-Range (HDR) photo-taking capabilities. The first software update for Glass arrived back in May when features such as incoming Google+ notifications for users were added.


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