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By: Joe Barbano
The Google Glass Project (which may be the most anticipated user device since the iPhone) is scheduled to be released to the general public as early as late 2013. It has been showcased at tech conferences, shown in internet videos, and has been discussed extensively on tech blogs for the last couple years leading up to its release. Many feel that the upcoming product is the biggest step in the last decade to bridge the gap between reality and science fiction movies. Others feel that it is a terribly “goofy” looking product that will fail miserably. Whatever its fate, it certainly has the tech community buzzing.
What it is
Google glass is basically a glasses-like computerized device that presents the viewer with an augmented reality field of view, and functions somewhat like a smart phone that you wear on your head. Picture a pair of glasses, without the lenses, and instead has a small display in the upper right corner of the wearer’s eye, and a small microphone sitting right next to the person’s ear. The small chip residing in front of the person’s right eye presents a display in the field of view of the individual wearing the glasses, but cannot be seen by others. The display looks like the presentation of applications of a smartphone that you can see in front of you. A touch-pad on the side of the device allows you to swipe through the several applications the device will offer, such as weather, news, photos, calendar, etc. The product itself has a flexible feel, so that it fits all head sizes, and it is available in several colors. It is also lighter than an average pair of prescription glasses. Currently, it is not compatible with people who wear glasses, but Google plans to rectify that around the time of the product’s release to the general public. Also, Google is currently in talks with Ray Ban to make a sunglasses version of the product.
What it does
Google Glass will have a similar functionality to that of a smart phone. You can interact with Google Glass by swiping the touch pad, or simply by uttering the phrase, “OK, Glass” followed by a command. The commands you can give to glass range from telling it to record a point-of-view video with its 720p miniature camera, to pulling up walking directions, to searching for things on Google. Google glass responds back to you via the microphone sitting right next to the ear, and the sound is inaudible to others. Google Glass will be able to sync with your smartphone, and it has 16 gigabytes worth of storage. Currently, Google is allowing 3rd party developers to make apps for the product through the release of the Mirror API. These expected apps include facial recognition software, Facebook, and many more.
How Can I Get Google Glass?
The release date to the general public has been delayed a few times since 2011. Currently, the product is only available to testers and developers for US$ 1500. However, Google has assured the public that the product will be much less expensive in its general release- closer to the price of a smartphone. The release date is expected to be sometime in late 2013, but many predict it will not be made available until early 2014. More info can be found on the official site: http://www.google.com/glass/start/

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