April 16, 2013
Google Glass Ready To Ship First Batch
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Google Glass has had quite a roller coaster of a year so far. This project started 2013 “in flux,” only to be seen a few weeks later on the head of Google cofounder Sergey Brin. In only four to five short months, Glass has already become something of a Hollywood star, making guest appearances at a pair of Hackathons and a special exclusive visit with The Verge just before getting banned from a bar and nearly blocked from the roadways of West Virginia.
Now Google is ready to begin shipping the very first Glass units to the earliest of early adopters who were willing to pony up $1,500 to build applications (henceforth to be known as “Glassware”) for this new platform. As these first units begin to trickle out, Google has released a spec sheet for Glass as well as an experimental Mirror API which reveals just how much Glass is capable of doing.
Google yesterday began notifying some Glass Explorer participants the very first glasses are hot off the presses and should be on the way in no time. According to a copy of this letter obtained by TechCrunch, Google is simply too excited to wait until each of the first 2,000 glasses are finished, so they´ll be shipping them out in waves. Google will begin emailing these Explorers whenever their test unit is ready for them.
Once an explorer is notified, they´ll have to make the trek to LA, New York or San Francisco for a special fitting of the glasses and a short briefing.
The Android and Glass maker announced earlier this month the specs would begin shipping by the end of the month, so this news seems to put them right on track.
When Explorers finally get their hands on their pair of Glass, they´ll be using what equates to a very tiny and head-mountable smartphone.
According to DroidLife, this first version of Glass isn´t a real standout in terms of specs. As a companion device, however, it´s not likely it will actually need to compete with today´s top Android Superphones.
Glass´ camera and display are the device components with which users will interact the most, and Google outfit the spectacles with a five-megapixel camera and a “high resolution” display. According to DroidLife, this is the equivalent of watching a 25-inch high-definition television from about eight feet away. The camera is also capable of shooting in 720p and storing all these images and videos on 12 GB of flash storage. The glasses have 16 GB of onboard storage, but only 12 are accessible to the user.
Just as it was rumored to be back in February, Google Glass will feature bone conduction audio. This means audio is run through the earpiece where the stem meets your skull. The earpiece will vibrate just so that you´ll hear the sounds in your head as opposed to in your ears with earbuds.
Glass will also work with any Android device running Android 4.0.3 or higher with Bluetooth. As for the battery, Google says the battery should last an entire day with “typical” use. However, using things like the camera or video chatting (the two features Google continually shows off in their promo videos) could impair the battery´s performance just as it would on other devices.
Excited Explorers can now take a peak at the developer preview of Glass´ Mirror API, the interface used to write Glassware. These developers can even experiment with the Mirror API and test how different lines of code would interact with the Glass glasses.