While Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL [FREE Stock Trend Analysis]) iWatch rumors continue to slog their way through the blog-o-sphere, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) has upped the ante. Google’s Glass is not a rumor, it’s real. In addition (according to Google) you can get one by the end of 2013 by entering and winning a special contest.
At least, Google calls it a contest. There are some unique rules. First, you have to pay $1,500 for your Glass, if you win. Also, you have to travel to New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles to pick your prize up. (UPS (NYSE: UPS) is not available.)
If that isn’t enough, you have to come up with a really creative idea about how you will use your Glass. If you need help coming up with ideas, Google has released a video entitled How it Feels [through Glass] that provides a behind-the-lens view of the Glass experience. Google hasn’t specified how many “winners” there will be – supposedly, that will depend on the number of “really creative ideas.”
CNET reported that Glass will be able to connect via Bluetooth to both Android phones and the iPhone, while pulling data from Wi-Fi and using the 3G/4G feeds from the connected phone. Glass will not have its own cellular radio.
Joshua Topolsky at The Verge tried out Glass at Google’s New York City headquarters and reported that acclimation to the device was very easy. “The privacy issue is going to be a big hurdle for Google with Glass,” Topolsky says. “Almost as big as the hurdle it has to jump over to convince normal people to wear something as alien and unfashionable as Glass seems right now.”
Topolsky was taken by Glass’ ability to record what is right in front of you in real time. This brings up the privacy issue. Will people be comfortable knowing that someone simply looking at them wearing a pair of glasses might videotape them?
Google product director Steve Lee turned the privacy issue around by discussing the advantage of being a parent at a child’s soccer game or musical, recording while and watching everything in real time. Lee compares this with other parents watching through a camcorder viewfinder – and missing everything.
Glass isn’t going to have a large effect on Google’s stock in 2013. Contest aside, the product won’t be widely available until 2014. However, with talk already beginning to spread about possible features and options on Version 2, the sky may be the limit.
Forbes reported a number of desirable features that could make Glass V2 widely popular, assuming Google can bring the price point down to around $500 or so. Possible features include a binocular heads up display, corrective lenses, a hearing aid app, color blindness correction, even an app to aid those with macular eye disease.
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