Wearable Tech World Feature Article
April 15, 2013

Google Glass Available to Developers, Contest Winners

After months of speculation, Google (News - Alert) is finally releasing Google Glass into the real world, but only on a limited basis.

Google announced the early version, called Glass Explorers, for developers and early adopters will ship this month.

"This is new technology and we really want you to shape it," Google co-founder Sergey Brin (News - Alert) said at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco. "We want to get it out into the hands of passionate people as soon as possible."

Google Glass is a piece of eyewear that is really a small mobile device. It can send pictures, record video, look up information online and start Google Plus hangouts, all projected into the wearer’s eye.

The release of Glass Explorer is intended to give Google an idea of what people will actually do with Google Glass in the real world. It costs $1,500 and is only available to developers or people who were picked from the #ifihadglass hashtag campaign on Twitter (News - Alert). It will be available later this month.

A video shown on Google’s website devoted to Glass shows first-person views of skydivers, trapeze artists, pilots and roller coaster rides, demonstrating Glass’s various features. The skydivers walked into the Moscone Center in San Francisco where the conference was being held, to thunderous applause after the video was shown there.

Google picked 8,000 people from the campaign before it was closed. The company focused on people who were had altruistic intentions for their hardware. One of the participants wanted to take Google Glass into a Veterans Affairs hospital to show what conditions were really like in there.

Prospective users will also have to travel to San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York to pick up their devices. Google is apparently not wanting to risk having a package intercepted and competitors figuring out how Google Glass actually works.

Google really wants developers to create applications for Glass. “All of us involved in the Glass Collective are absolutely certain that developers are going to create thousands of ways for millions of people to use Glass and improve their lives and the world around them,” Marc Andreesen, co-founder and general partner of Andreessen Horowitz, wrote in a blog post.

Andreesen, who was also a co-founder of Netscape, is encouraging developers to create apps through his new company. One of the first major non-Google apps is a New York Times app that reads headlines out to users.

Google Glass is expected to become available to the general public later this year or early next year.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey

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