Google has finally, after much anticipation and speculation, released its head-mounted computing device, Google Glass, to a group of approximately 10 000 people who are part of the Glass Explorer program.
Entrants, who applied to the program via Twitter and Google+, were required to explain in 50 words or less what they would do with Google Glass.
From these entries, about 8000 people were selected to be part of the program, including actor Neil Patrick Harris and Mythbusters host, Adam Savage.
The successful applicants were added to the Explorer program alongside 2000 developers who signed up for the testingin June last year during Google I/O, an annual conference hosted in San Francisco, California.
Those who signed up around this time were notified via email on 16 April 2013 that Google Glass Explorer Edition devices were leaving the production line and ready to be shipped.
Google Glass, which resembles a pair of spectacles, displays information through a small prism screen. The device is controlled by the Android operating system and can run several Google apps such as Google Maps and Google Now.
Third party apps are also available and developers can use Google’s Mirror application programming interface (API) to create their own “Glassware.”
Google Glass’s features include a 5MP camera which can record 720p video, 12GB of usable memory, and a battery life of about one day of typical use.
Users control the device primarily through voice commands; by saying the key phrase “OK glass”, followed by an instruction such as “record a video,” or “get directions to the nearest coffee shop”. Users are able to issue vast arrays of command prompts with minimal effort. These commands can also be selected using the headset’s touchpad.
Currently, Google Glass costs $1500 and is only available to people who are part of the Glass Explorer program. However, according to technology website The Verge, Google plans to release its product to consumers for a lower price before the end of this year.