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Google Glass specs and software released

Google Glass specs and software released

Google Glass is now an official product, with help pages, an Android app and semi-detailed specifications - but there's still no word of a retail launch.

Google has finally revealed the formal specifications of its Google Glass, wearable computer project.

First unveiled in April last year under the codename Project Glass, Google Glass is a wearable computing platform that takes the form of a one-size-fits-all glasses frame with small head-up display module. According to Google co-founder Sergey Brin, it's the solution to something he has claimed as a real problem: smartphone addiction, that constant nervous twitch to be looking down at the screen to see what witty bon mots your Twitter followees are currently spreading.

'The cellphone is a nervous habit. If I smoked, I'd probably smoke instead. In addition to potentially socially isolating yourself when you are out and about using your phone, I feel it is kind of emasculating,' Brin told the audience at a brief TED Conference appearance in February this year. 'That is why we put the [Google Glass] display up high, out of the line of sight. If I wore a ball cap, the display would be on the brim and not where you are looking, and sound goes through bones in the cranium, which is a little freaky at first, but you get used to it.'

While it sounds more like a recipe for causing addiction than curing it, Google is going ahead with plans to release the device, making it available for the princely sum of $1,500 to specially-chosen early adopters who can sign up for the Google Glass Explorer Programme. The release date for a cheaper version for the general public is set to be the end of the year.

What Google had not shared, however, was the system's specifications, asking those it had invited to participate in the programme to part with their cash sight-unseen. That's an oversight it's now looking to correct, publishing the first public specifications for the hardware on its website.

Google Glass Specs
The Android-powered wearable computing platform will, Google has revealed, have a five megapixel camera capable of recording video at 720p resolution. Audio, as Brin promised, is handled through a bone conduction transducer that transfers the vibrations required through the wearer's bone matter - meaning it cannot be drowned out by ambient noise, and is inaudible to anyone not in direct contact with the headset.

The system includes 16GB of storage, of which 12GB is accessible to the user and synchronised with Google's cloud storage platform for access on any web-connected device. Google Glass's own connectivity is handled via 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, with no integrated mobile support; instead, users are asked to use Bluetooth to share a mobile data connection from a smartphone or tablet.

Those looking to get the most from the platform will need an Android smartphone or tablet running 4.0.3 'Ice-Cream Sandwich' or better, which enables SMS messaging support and GPS location data. While it's possible to connect the Glass hardware to other Bluetooth-enabled smartphones, Google warns this won't provide an optimal experience.

What Google has yet to share is the processor or memory available on the platform, but it does have a few other facts up its sleeve: the 640x320 resolution head-up display module provides the equivalent experience to looking at a 25in high-definition monitor from a distance of eight feet, while the one-size-fits-all frame comes with extra nosepads in two different sizes. Finally, the device is claimed to offer a full day of usage via a single charge from its micro-USB connection, although the company warns that using Google+ Hangouts or video recording will drain the battery faster.


Google Glass Video

Elsewhere, the company has published documentation for its Google Mirror application programming interface (API) to offer advice to developers on how they can make use of the Google Glass hardware from web-based services dubbed 'Glassware.' Interestingly, there's one usage which has been strictly forbidden by Google: the use of the Mirror API to display advertising on the head-up display integrated into Google Glass, with developers being pushed away from advertising as a means of generating income from their projects.

Finally, Google has published the MyGlass companion app on Google Play, providing those well-heeled few who are part of the beta test a means of unlocking the capabilities of their new toy. 'If you don't have Glass, then downloading this will be a waste of time. Sorry about that,' the page on Google Play warns. 'But if you swipe the screenshots to the right you'll see there's a picture of a puppy in pajamas. So not a total waste of time after all.'

Google Glass Price and Release Date
Thus far, Google has not indicated a timescale for a full retail release of Project Glass, except to say that it hopes to have the device on the open market by the end of the year - at which point, it is hoped, it will cost closer to that of a mid-range Android smartphone than the laptop-esque $1,500 price tag the Explorer Edition fetches.

28 Comments

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Krikkit 16th April 2013, 11:34 Quote
I can't decide if this will ever be socially acceptable - to start Joe Public won't really know what it is, but once it's popular will everyone think you're spacing out on Twitter while in conversation?
MachineUK 16th April 2013, 11:48 Quote
Easy, you put the twitter feed and reply box in the middle bottom left and right of the glasses. Thus forcing the user to go "cross eyed"........hey presto.......you know when people aren't fully involved in your convo. Rude twitter junkies!!!
kosch 16th April 2013, 12:50 Quote
I thought the FDA said they weren't allowed a wireless transceiver so close the skin but you could get around it using the bluetooth transcever to tether it to your phone for internet access? Unless these are the Euro specs and different laws?

Also when will spec savers be doing google glasses glasses as I don't get on well with contacts :(
benji2412 16th April 2013, 14:52 Quote
I'd find these really useful in a laboratory, thus why I'll get a pair, also useful for the live maps, so you can look at it when you need it, rather than have a fully fledged sat nav.
Lance 16th April 2013, 14:57 Quote
They need to be attached to some glasses that don't make you look like a treky.
damien c 16th April 2013, 15:39 Quote
I am liking this more and more each time I see something about it, but I have heard that apparently there will be a quite a few places which won't allow them to be worn or used when in that place.
phoenixck 16th April 2013, 15:44 Quote
I definitely want a pair, just for my law exams. 'google search jurisprudence'
Fat Tony 16th April 2013, 18:36 Quote
These will take over the world
sp4nky 16th April 2013, 19:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krikkit
I can't decide if this will ever be socially acceptable - to start Joe Public won't really know what it is, but once it's popular will everyone think you're spacing out on Twitter while in conversation?

I think it'll be just like having mobile phones. It'll be geeky at first and then gradually people will realise the benefit and join in. Personally, I'd like to be an early-adopter.

I think one of the first non-social-network-type applications that will really grab people is having maps available as you're walking/driving. No more having to glance at paper maps or a device on your dashboard, you'll have maps in a heads-up display.

The possibilities are endless.
Boswell 16th April 2013, 20:18 Quote
Great so the times that I'm not using to record a video, I get to stare at the time all day.

[only wear them then when you want to take a POV picture/video]

No different from an ordinary camera then but lower quality.

[its hands free though]

So is a Go-pro and I have a feeling (albeit I haven't looked at the figures) that the Go-pro will be better quality.

It's a great gimmick that I'll probably end up buying myself one day :(
Flibblebot 16th April 2013, 22:27 Quote
Sadly, unless they do them with prescription lenses, I won't be able to use them :(
l3v1ck 16th April 2013, 22:31 Quote
I'd love to see how good these are for Sat-Nav while driving. Should be like your own heads up display.
l3v1ck 16th April 2013, 22:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flibblebot
Sadly, unless they do them with prescription lenses, I won't be able to use them :(
I'm assuming they'll work if you wear contact lenses.
Blazza181 16th April 2013, 22:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flibblebot
Sadly, unless they do them with prescription lenses, I won't be able to use them :(

I think I saw somewhere that they're going to make prescription glass too. And so I'm uber excited.
Flibblebot 17th April 2013, 08:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by l3v1ck
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flibblebot
Sadly, unless they do them with prescription lenses, I won't be able to use them :(
I'm assuming they'll work if you wear contact lenses.
Sadly I can't wear contacts either :(
MachineUK 17th April 2013, 09:07 Quote
I think this technology has criminals and terrorists scared. Imagine, someone could be recording a crime and not even knowing it. Especially with face recognition.
mrbungle 17th April 2013, 10:01 Quote
Not sure how this sits with me.

It's going to feel like everyone is a walking security camera. Least with a phone its fairly obvious people are taking a picture.

Not that I have anything to hide but it just seems a bit invasive.
PingCrosby 17th April 2013, 10:40 Quote
People will be randomly walking down the street shouting out stuff, I'll be ringing the authorities and getting them committed lol
l3v1ck 17th April 2013, 11:15 Quote
I've just realised..... I'll be able to catch everyone who uses a mobile while driving on film.
I wonder how many dangerous drivers I can report to the police? ;)
adidan 17th April 2013, 12:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by l3v1ck
I've just realised..... I'll be able to catch everyone who uses a mobile while driving on film.
I wonder how many dangerous drivers I can report to the police? ;)
Yup, ubiquitous CCTV, authorities gonna love that. :)

It may get people into trouble, I wonder at what stage anybody wearing glasses will have to watch where they go for fear of bad lads, or just drunks on a Friday night, not taking too kindly at the thought of possibly being filmed.
Gradius 17th April 2013, 22:50 Quote
Too expensive. At that price it need to read the power level as well !
maverik-sg1 18th April 2013, 15:58 Quote
This is going to be a bit like "Minority Report" technology and veritable hub for advertisers everywhere, welcome to perma-pop-up technology - every outlet, shop, service station, road sign or probably just another person wearing the same glasses.....all trying to xmit adverts directly to your ocular nerves and sounds directly to your brain.

http://youtu.be/is12anYx2Qs

http://youtu.be/is12anYx2Qs

http://youtu.be/7bXJ_obaiYQ

http://youtu.be/7bXJ_obaiYQ
Andy Mc 18th April 2013, 21:37 Quote
Can't. Wait. So want a pair. Hopefully they will be available with prescription lenses from launch otherwise I'll need to decide if I can bear to go with contacts.
Flibblebot 19th April 2013, 08:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverik-sg1
This is going to be a bit like "Minority Report" technology and veritable hub for advertisers everywhere, welcome to perma-pop-up technology - every outlet, shop, service station, road sign or probably just another person wearing the same glasses.....all trying to xmit adverts directly to your ocular nerves and sounds directly to your brain.

is12anYx2Qs
7bXJ_obaiYQ
FTFY.
For future reference, you just need the code after the slash.
Waynio 19th April 2013, 09:00 Quote
Hmmm if they made a safety glasses version I'd be keen to buy some, wouldn't need tripod in cramped workshop for work in progress & I'd get some real work in progress shots from my perspective & just use tripod & nice camera for end of session shots, would be awesome & wouldn't be missing any progression steps. :)

Other than that I'm not interested. :D
Roskoken 20th April 2013, 16:50 Quote
When they are made to look like Aviators they will be cool and only then.
Joey Propane 20th April 2013, 17:25 Quote
Still think it's a runaway April fools joke personally. People are already too dependent on technology in my opinion, having it literally on your face is going to make people even more lazy...
Barry_White 21st April 2013, 22:03 Quote
Make it mind controlled instead of sounding like a tool talking to yourself in public then i think their onto a winner.
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