Google Glass may seem like something out of the future: a wearable computer that snaps photos and videos, lets you chat with people around the globe from anywhere, and provides answers to your questions as well as directions while you walk or drive. But Google is already providing thousands of prototypes to early adopters (for $1500 per unit), and the company hopes to ship Glass as a consumer product by the end of the year.
Joshua Topolsky, editor of The Verge, got a chance to spend some time with Google Glass, and a few of the people responsible for the product and he reports that they’re targeting a 2013 release date.
Google Glass is designed to be worn like a pair of glasses, putting a small transparent display just above your eye. It lets you see notifications and other information at a glance without taking your attention away from the things you’re doing.
In other words, you can look at directions without bumping into people on the street while staring at your phone.
Ironically, that means that this incredibly noticeable machine that’s designed to always be on your face is actually designed to let you use technology less, not more. The idea is that instead of taking your attention away from the world around you the way a smartphone can do, Google Glass is designed to fit technology into your daily interactions with the world.
You can use it to record moments, find information when you need it, or even answer the phone, respond to text messages, or engage in video chats without fumbling for the phone in your pocket.
Glass can connect to the internet over your home or work WiFi connection. When you’re on the go, it pairs with your smartphone — Glass has built-in GPS, but not cellular capabilities. It’s not designed to replace your phone, but to compliment it.
You won’t necessarily need an Android phone to use Glass when away from WiFi. According to The Verge, it will work with an iPhone as well.
As of February, 2013, Google Glass is still an expensive prototype that’s only available to a limited number of individuals. But if Google starts mass producing and selling Glass later this year — and if the company can convince the general public that the product’s worth the price (whatever the final price might be), Glass could change the way we interact with our mobile devices… and with the world around us.