How would you like to be the first person to lose a $1,500 set of Google Glass? Well fear no longer as someone has already managed to do just that. Say hello to Luke Wroblewski. Wroblewski admits to the fact he lost his set of Glass last night while heading through an airport. According to Google, this is a major first for Glass.
[It's] pretty nerve-racking. It's an expensive and still-rare item - plus I've been using them to develop Glassware. So [it's] not good on a number of fronts.
Just like losing a smartphone, Glass contains personal and sensitive information. In Wroblewski's case, his Glass was synced to various accounts, such as e-mail and Facebook, making the loss that much more painful. Google already has a remedy in place: Users can remotely wipe their Glass.
Google is going to have a fight on its hands to make Glass a popular product. According to a survey conducted by BiTE interactive of 1,000 US adults, 45 percent of respondents said they wouldn't wear the glasses due to their aesthetics or because they thought the device would be irritating.
44 percent of those who responded saying they would wear Glass said they are most interested in the camera capabilities. 44 percent said they would wear it to take pictures, 37 percent said they'd wear Glass to take video, and a total of 39 percent said they'd want to be able to make calls with the device.
Joseph Farrell, EVP of operations at BiTE interactive:
Google Glass represents a profound social barrier for the average consumer.At best, they see a Glass user as someone who prioritizes information access over a personal connection with others. At worst, they fear social sleights of hand: researching topics, recording video or Googling a person in mid-conversation. Overall, what Glass offers is combination of high social rejection with features the average person simply doesn't value over their current smartphone.
So now my question to you: Would you wear Google Glass? If not, what would it take you to wear it. If so, why?
Google Glass Explorer Edition getting updated XE5 software, brings with it new features and enhancements
We're a bit in love with Google Glass. We're closely following along the progress made by Glass and are happy to report that it is receiving a software update that brings with it a bunch of new features. According to Google, the update brings with it a host of changes, including crash reporting.
- Change to sync policy: require power + wifi for background uploads
- Crash reporting
- Incoming G+ notifications (direct shares, comments, +mentions), including ability to comment and +1
- Incoming Hangout notifications
- Transcription of queries & messages is now wicked-fast
- Long-press to search from anywhere in the UI (no longer just from off)
- International number dialing + SMS
- Hop animation on disallowed swipes in the UI
- New On-Head Detection calibration flow
- Show device Serial Number on Device Info card
- More reliable estimation of battery charge remaining
- New recipient-list mosaic
One interesting change worth noting is that background syncing now requires the device to be on a local Wi-Fi network and plugged into power. We imagine this is to increase the rather short battery life, but can't confirm this as the reason. Other notable changes include the addition of Google+ notifications.
If you have an Explorer Edition in your possession, simply plug it into a power source and Google should take care of the rest.
iPhone users rejoice! Google Glass will soon add more support for iPhones, allowing the iOS-powered smartphone to be paired with Glass in more ways. The important support coming to Glass will allow the headset to access your iPhone's text messages and navigation, two useful features of Glass.
While Glass will happily work with any iPhone over Bluetooth or use any Wi-Fi connection to get online, iPhone users are currently unable to get turn-by-turn directions through Glass - one of its killer features. Those direction are pretty useful while you are navigating a new city and they do show off the power of location-based apps on Glass, but the software will currently balk if you ask it to give you directions while it's connected to an iPhone.
Current Glass compatibility with iPhone is rather limited; Glass can pair up with an iPhone through Bluetooth for data tethering, but that's about it. Bringing support for text messages and navigation is a huge boost and will open up the potential Glass market when they launch sometime next year.
The Explorer Edition of Google Glass was not an easy thing to get your hands on. One Australian hacker couldn't wait for the consumer version to be released, so he did what any self-respecting maker would do: he produced his own cloned version of Google Glass and called it Flass. Flass is a combination of 'fake' and 'glass.'
Flass certainly isn't as refined as Google Glass, but it does get the job done. Ash_Williams, the creator of Flass, has gone through four iterations of the clone, each one becoming more refined. Flass, however, isn't quite as wireless as Google Glass. Currently, the system is controlled by a small keyboard.
He is currently working on another prototype, hopefully with an integrated camera. Ash_Williams also has a 3D-printed version of the Google Glass frame on its way, meaning this clone could soon look a lot more like Google Glass.
Google has posted up a short How-To introduction for Glass. The video, which only has a runtime of just over a minute, shows how to control Glass with the touchpad. It also gives a brief introduction to the UI, which are called cards. Take a look at the video for yourself:
It would definitely appear that more Google Glass How-To videos will be coming soon. These videos are definitely a great way to get the general public interested in the rather expensive headset. I know this got me extremely excited for Glass.
The video does stay away from situations that could result in some embarrassment, such as giving voice commands to Glass. I'll be really interested to see more of these videos. What did you think of it?
Google Glass developer says they intentionally left Glass unlocked, adds "FFS, you paid $1500 for it... go to town on it"
Google Glass can't get here soon enough, but now there's cause for celebration. Google developer Stephen Lau took to his Google+ page to talk about Glass, and how they "intentionally left the device unlocked" so that "you guys could hack it and do crazy fun shit with it". His full quote:
Not to bring anybody down... but seriously... we intentionally left the device unlocked so you guys could hack it and do crazy fun shit with it. I mean, FFS, you paid $1500 for it... go to town on it. Show me something cool.
I think it's great that Google are leaving it unlocked, and I truly can't wait to see what developers can do with an unlocked wearable computer. Keep in mind that there is a difference between 'unlocked' and 'rooting', which you can read about on Lau's Google+ page where people are getting quite heated over the topic.
At least one Google Glass Explorer Edition owner has been doing some digging. Jay Lee, a hacker who got his hands on a pair of Google Glass, managed to connect Glass up to Google's ADB software and dig through the debug data to find out what operating system and hardware was powering the wearable device.
According to the ADB printout, Google Glass Explorer Editions are running Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich. They are powered by an OMAP 4430 CPU, which is a dual-core in the same family as the processor used in the Galaxy Nexus smartphone. The ADB printout returned that the system has 682MB of RAM, though Lee believes it's more likely 1GB with some reserved for hardware.
We'll surely be getting more information as Glass gets into the hands of more developers and hackers. Until then, feel free to dig through the information Lee has posted on a Google Drive.
If you're looking forward to taking video with your shiny new Google Glass headset, I've got some bad news. According to Robert Scoble, a user with the Explorer Edition of Google Glass, shooting video can drain the battery in as little as 30 minutes. "One six-minute video I did took 20 percent of the battery."
This could end up being a deal breaker for a large majority of customers. Google has maintained that the Explorer Edition of Glass isn't for the mainstream consumer. As such, it's not the final version and still has bugs and issues to work out.
Google does have an issue with regards to battery life. They need to squeeze the most out of the smallest battery they can. If they increase the size of the battery, that extra weight takes away from the comfort during wearing.
Google Glass and its competitors' devices to be big sellers by 2016 - more than 9 million devices expected to ship by 2016
Google Glass, and their sure to be following competitors, are definitely set to be the new smartphone craze. Research firm IHS knows this, and has predicted that shipments of smart glasses could hit 9.4 million units between 2012 and 2016.
The first shipments will be small, with expectations of around 124,000 units this year as Google Glass becomes available to developers. Adoption is set to really ramp up going into 2014, expected to push up by 250% as Glass becomes available to you and me, the general public. Google will of course push Glass in the market, which will have competitors' devices gain market share too, with combined sales reaching 6.6 million units per year by 2016.
If smart glasses are too expensive to the general public, these numbers could be much lower with IHS estimating shipments could be as low as a million units through 2016.
We all know Apple will come out this year with a magical, and revolutionary new device that they'll think they were the first, and only company to think of - and it'll arrive as the iWatch.
Well, this so-called iWatch, or whatever Apple call it, will be a hit with North American consumers according to a survey taken by ChangeWave Research. Their survey shows that around one in five Americans are either "somewhat" or "very" likely to buy an Apple-branded smartwatch when (and at the moment, if) it's even released.
ChangeWave director of operations, Andy Golub, told PCMag - who reported about the survey - that the upcoming, but rumored "smartwatch" is a testament to Apple's huge brand strength with consumers and that "Apple's track record of delivering ultra-convenient, easy to use products with a perceived 'cool factor' is driving pre-release demand".
Code found in the Google Glass companion app seems to indicate that Google will be allowing Glass users to take pictures by simply winking. Of course, with this comes numerous different issues. For instance, it'd be nearly impossible for people to tell that someone was taking a picture, which is already a problem with the advent of cell phones.
The problem of unwanted photographs in already such a problem in South Korea that cell phone manufacturers are required to program cameras to make a shutter sound that can't be disabled by users. At the same time, hands free functionality such as this would be beautiful for taking pictures while doing things with your hands.
What are your thoughts on the possibility of taking pictures by winking? Should Google be required to have Glass make a shutter sound?
According to Eric Schmidt, Google Glass are about a "year-ish" away from getting a general market release. Glass was widely expected to be available sometime this year, though the new information from Schmidt during a BBC Radio 4 interview seems to suggest that this won't be the case.
Google is already releasing Explorer Editions of Glass to developers and they will get to play with them over the coming months, suggesting feedback as they go along. This feedback will then be used to improve the final version of glass before it hits the market.
He went on:
The fact of the matter is that we'll have to develop some new social etiquette. It's obviously not appropriate to wear these glasses in situations where recording is not correct. Companies like Google have a very important responsibility to keep your information safe but you have a responsibility as well which is to understand what you're doing, how you're doing it, and behave appropriately and also keep everything up to date.
With each passing day, Oculus' Rift VR headset is closer to being mine - but in the meantime, I'm continuing to grow the foam at my mouth for the headset. Now there's some interesting new developments, where Virtuix have posted some videos of their Omni treadmill working with Oculus' Rift VR headset.
This means you can walk, and run on the treadmill, while looking through the Oculus Rift. It's quite incredible, and something that I think, if were priced right, could really take off.
I've tried for a while now to throw money at my screen, but I still haven't received my Glass product from Google. In the meantime, between shedding tears and dreaming of a wearable computing world, Google CEO Larry Page has confirmed that Glass will indeed be running a modified version of Android.
The news comes from the Mountain View-based company's earnings call, where the CEO said: "obviously, Glass runs on Android, so [Android] has been pretty transportable across devices, and I think that will continue". Google's mobile OS is on a multitude of devices, from smartphones to tablets, laptops to cameras and now their wearable computing device. This news should be music to developers' ears, as they can easily port their apps over to Glass' headset.
Wearable computing is really taking off this year, first we have the launch of Google Glass later in the year, but we're also going to see smartwatches gain some serious traction in the coming months. Market research firm ABI Research are predicting that smartwatches will see an explosion of sales this year, where they expect sales of 1.2 million smartwatches in 2013. Senior analyst Joshua Flood said:
The strong potential emergence of smartwatches can be attributed to several reasons. Contributing factors include the high penetration of smartphones in many world markets, the wide availability and low-cost of MEMS sensors, energy-efficient connectivity technologies such as Bluetooth 4.0, and a flourishing app ecosystem.
Will you be buying a smartwatch this year? Personally, I'm not a watch wearing type of guy, but Google Glass? Shut up and take my money.
It's no doubt that Google Glass is the hottest tech topic of 2013 - it has overshadowed smartphone launches, and made headlines internet wide whenever an appearance in the public is made. This morning Redmond Pie stumbled across what appears to be the first unboxing of Google's coolest project to date.
YouTuber Dan McLauglin managed to get his hands on a Google Glass set and like any good techie, he has posted a full unboxing video for all of us to drool over. The video while low quality even at 720p, lends some insight into what we can expect when the device goes retail later this year.
Below is a video that shows Glass being used in the real world at an indoor go kart track. While the entire project is quite impressive, the video stabilization capabilities of Google Glass really impressed me the most. This has been something I have been worried about since the project's first announcement.
Google Glass shipments have started, and now we already have the Explorer Edition getting the unboxing treatment along with a slew of photographs. Unfortunately, it wasn't me doing the unboxing, sob.
The glasses include a microUSB cable and charger, a pouch and shades. One of the users have noted that users can send navigation directions directly from their smartphone to Glass, which is something I expected, but is now confirmed.
Google Glass units roll off the production line for the first time, will be shipped to Explorer access members
The first batch of Google Glass units have just rolled off the production line, and will be shipped to the early Explorer Edition members. This should happen over the coming weeks.
The coming weeks should be exciting times, as developers get their hands (or is that eyes) on Google Glass. We should expect many more news tidbits to come out, with a much closer, and more personal look at the Glass unit itself. I really wish I had spent the money to acquire a pair of glasses at the time of Google I/O, damn it.
Google have finally unveiled the full specifications of their Glass tech, which is actually a bit better than what I thought we'd receive in the final consumer units.
We have the display first, which is a high-resolution display being the equivalent to a 25-inch high-definition screen eight feet away from your eyes. Camera-wise, we have a 5-megapixel camera for photos and 720p capture for video, there's some adjustable nosepads with a durable frame that fits any face. There's also two extra nosepads included.
We have a Bond Conduction Transducer for audio, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g and Bluetooth for connectivity, 12GB of usable memory synced with Google cloud storage, 16GB of flash memory total. Battery life should be good, with Google quoting "one full day of typical use", which includes Hangouts and video recording which are more battery intensive.
If you were lucky enough to jump into the Google Glass Explorer program, you'll get your Google Glasses before Google I/O. They may have cost you $1500, but it looks like you'll have your wearable Glass product within the next month.
The news comes from TechCrunch during today's "Glass Collective" event with Google Ventures. This means we should see some quick apps thrown together in time for Google I/O, and enough time to wish that I plonked down $1500 last year, sigh.