Google seems ready to turn the trickle of information about its Google Glass augmented-reality eyewear into a full-on flood, launching a new Website that highlights the device’s features.
As expected, Google Glass is heavily dependent on voice commands: say “ok glass” to wake the device up, or “Take a picture” to snap a point-of-view image. Ask questions (“How many miles to the Golden Gate Bridge?”) and receive answers on the tiny screen implanted in one of the lenses. Google Glass will also offer the ability to translate into other languages (“How do I say ‘pound’ in simplified Chinese?”) and display important information such as directions or flight arrival times. Google has produced a slickly designed video showing off all these capabilities.
Google Glass will come in five colors—charcoal, tangerine, shale, cotton, and sky—and feature a lightweight design, although Google is keeping many technical specs out of sight for the time being. Google is inviting potential users to apply for its Glass Explorer program, which will require ordering the Glass Explorer Edition (a prototype model, presumably) for $1,500 plus tax.
Of course, as any technology fan knows only too well, there’s always a gap between a sleek video of a product and its real-world capabilities. Whatever the quality of the final product, it’s clear that Google intends the augmented-reality eyewear to serve as a holistic platform for its multiple services, from translation to directions.
In the meantime, questions abound: what sort of battery life can users expect? How will it integrate with a Google Android smartphone (and any other accessories)? If Google Glass flies off your face as you skydive over Thailand, is the construction tough enough to survive the long plunge to the ground? What kinds of apps can third-party developers build for it, and when will they see an API?
Google has been doling out tidbits about Google Glass for some time. Earlier this month, Google hosted a pair of “Glass Foundry” summits in New York City and Francisco, inviting small groups of developers to explore how to build applications for the eyewear. Google Developers’ Google Plus page offered a smidge of detail from within the events. Google is also planning a Google Glass event for next month’s South by Southwest (SXSW) show in Austin, Texas, where even more will doubtlessly be revealed.