Although it wasn’t about a mobile device in the traditional sense, one of the most interesting demonstrations at yesterday’s Google I/O keynote was when Sergey Brin demonstrated the fruit of Google’s Project Glass, now just called Google Glass. The demonstration itself was quite a show, and featured skydivers, BMX bikers, and stunt climbers, all demonstrating some potential (and extreme) uses of Google’s new technology. They all began outside of the conference building, and their journeys in (whether on bikes, through the sky, or down the side of the building) were broadcast through Google Glass live to those at the conference.
After the flashy intro, things got a little bit more practical and Brin began discussing some highlights of the glasses. They now weigh less than many standard sunglasses, while still packing quite a bit of technology. The transparent glass display that sits slightly above the user’s eye is controlled by a touch panel on the side and button on top, which can be used as a camera shutter to take first person pictures. The glasses also have Wifi and mobile data, for Google+ hangouts and other mobile data access, a speaker and microphone on the right side of the device, and a gyroscope.
During the conference, it was made clear that the glasses are currently still very much a theoretical project, and although there is a lot of development going on, the glasses are in no way ready for the average consumer. However, the Google Glass team did share their future hopes for Glass, saying that they strive to eventually create a product that will seamlessly blend into everyday life and be able to provide the user with information almost before they know that they need it.
So, when will you be able to get your hands on Google’s piece of the future? Well, the Google Glass team announced that the first edition product, called Google Glass Explorer Edition, are available for preorder to Google I/O attendants only at the price of $1,500. The orders won’t ship until 2013, so we will have to wait at least until then to see people walking around in the street with Google Glass, or to buy the glasses at exorbitant markups on Ebay.
More Google I/O coverage:
- Google I/O day 1, part 1: Android 4.1 Jellybean
- Google I/O day 1, part 2: Nexus 7
- Google lowers unlocked GSM/HSPA+ Samsung Galaxy Nexus price to $349
- Google Chrome for Android exits beta; Play Store on the web is improved, too
- Google Maps now allows for off-line map access
- Android Jelly Bean developer preview OTA image has already leaked
- Google introduces Nexus Q, a $299 social streaming device
- 9.1% of Android users just got some cool new YouTube features
- Google+ gets yet another UI overhaul, but it doesn’t suck this time