Google's Sergey Brin Calls Smartphones 'Emasculating'
Earlier this month, Google announced that it is expanding its Google Glass testing pool to get more testers and collect additional input for the still-evolving project. The company is inviting interested applicants to submit proposals through Feb. 27 for a chance to buy an early model and become a part of its continuing development. So far, Glass has only been available to developers who attended the annual Google I/O Conference in July 2012, where the devices were unveiled officially. Those developers were given the first chances to buy the first Explorer Edition units of the product for $1,500 each when they are offered for sale this year. Now, though, Google is ready to expand the testing to the general public, with some conditions, according to the company. The biggest caveat is that participants who are chosen would first have to buy a set of Glass for $1,500 plus taxes. As part of the expanded testing program, Google also unveiled some cool new details about Glass through a brief video that explores some of its early capabilities.The company will also hold a Building New Experiences with Glass session March 11 at the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference to further the project's development. Google also recently revealed that the Glass devices will transmit sound to its users via vibrations through human bones rather than relying on traditional speakers. An actual Google Glass device was spotted in public Jan. 21 being used by Google co-founder Brin on a New York subway train. If nothing else, Brin's comments are certainly helping fuel a continuing and growing interest in Google Glass. A purported pair of Google Glasses even landed in an auction on eBay this week, reaching a bid of $16,000 before apparently being taken down by eBay, according to a story by The Guardian. "And one person in Cleveland, Ohio, was claiming to have a pair of the glasses—or at least to be part of the seeding program—which were up for auction," the story reported. "According to the site, they would have been available sometime between Monday 4 March and Thursday 7 March, and at the time of writing the bidding had hit $15,900, having started at $1,500 on 21 February, and ramped up quickly in the past couple of days." And the successor to Google Glass is already making news, after rumors about patent applications for the next Google Glass surfaced earlier this week. The successor could be a dual-eye version using specialized lasers that would provide a dual-eye image for the user, rather than the original version's one-eye capability.
Google recently held two "hackathon" events in New York City and San Francisco as part of its "Glass Foundry" program to collect developer input for the devices with an emphasis on developing the Google Mirror API. Attendees were given access to a Glass device for use and testing.