20 Feb 2013

The future of wearable tech is just around the corner with that of Google Glass.  Want a sneak peek at how this will work, then check out the video below for an example and details on how you might be able to get your own Glass device sooner than imagined.

The contest

Google has announced a competition that will put the Glass device in the hands of non-developers.  Using Twitter or Google+ you need to use 50 words or less and outline what you would do if you had the device, most likely they are looking for big ideas.  You have to tag it with #ifihadglass and can also include photos or a short video. 

This is for those 18 and over and in the United States.  The deadline is February 27th and winners will be dubbed a Glass Explorer.  The best 8,000 applicants will have to preorder their own Glass Explorer Edition which is $1500 plus tax. 

The cost

The $1500 Glass Explorer edition is known as the developer version and more expensive than the consumer version.  The consumer version is expected to run somewhere around $750. 

How do they work

There is still a lot of speculation on exact specs, but here are a few that have circulated.  According to insiders, Google Glass likely uses a transparent or semi-transparent LCD or AMOLED display to put the information in front of you.  Google Glass has a built in camera and GPS location information, possibly provided via the wi-fi connection or other means.  Information is managed by tilting your head and voice input and output.  It is possible that they will also have either a 3G or 4G connection and communicate directly with the cloud, but wi-fi is more likely the only means of data transmission for now, due to battery drain.  Google had previously filed with the FCC to allow for 2.4 GHz 802.11 wireless, so wi-fi is almost certain. 

The glasses are supposed to work in conjunction with a smartphone via Bluetooth 4.0 which could also give them a data connection or make applications receive data from the phone.  Apparently, even if you already wear glasses, Google is working on a way to make them work over your existed glasses. 

Google filed a patent earlier this year for a bone-conduction audio patent, which basically allows the device to provide audio that you can hear through a vibrating element that makes contact with your head.

When will they be available

Google Glass is expected to be released to the general public in 2014.  They were originally announced via Project Glass in April of 2012.  Currently there is a developer version that was made available in 2013.  Glass represents a step towards the future that has existed mainly in sci-fi with that of wearable computing tech and augmented reality.

See the gallery below for more images of Glass.

Below is the original concept video from Google from 2012:

Source:  Google, Google+Project Glass, Wikipedia, Bgr.com

 


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