Google's wearable prototype model Google Glass will go on sale this week to all British occupants beyond 18 years old, with the tech giant asserting the gadget will "bring people the technology they rely upon without drawing them out of the moment".
Glass connects to the web through a paired smartphone and displays messages to the wearer on a little transparent screen situated in the corner of their vision. It will cost £1000 and could be worn with or without prescription lenses.
Google is enthusiastic to stretch that the glass is still a work in progress however trusts that it speaks to the future of computing - offering consumers hands-free access to the kind of data and applications accessible through smartphone.
"It’s not ready for mass consumption or a broader audience,” Ivy Ross, Head of Google Glass, told The Independent, a British publication. “But we’ve learned a tremendous amount from the people - from the Explorers, - we sold to in the US on this level and we want to do the same here."
'Don't be such a Glasshole'
Google initially offered the groundbreaking product in the US to countless early adopters of its technology before putting the device on general sale in May 2014. This "open beta" has permitted the organization to process feedback from clients and developers yet it’s likewise hurled various issues with the product engineering.
In January this year, San Diego resident Cecilia Abadie was given a ticket for wearing Glass while driving. In the same month Columbus-based programming specialist Tiberiu Ungureanu was thrown out from a movie hall and confined by police for wearing Glass while viewing a movie. Abadie and Ungureanu were inevitably absolved after no proof was found that Glass had been utilized, yet in both cases it was the (moderately) unnoticeable nature of the device that headed others to suspect that it was being worked secretively – an issue of trust that has been intensified by the device's built-in camera and widespread public concern about surveillance.
“We’ve designed the unit with privacy in mind meaning you can see when the screen is on,” says Ross. “One of the reasons that we are doing these beta launches is to learn. With any new technologies there are always issues that will arise, I mean, Kodak cameras were banned from parks in the 1890s. So we’re listening very carefully and taking that feedback.” In any case, its Glass' usefulness that has brought on pressure as well as the kind of client it draws in. In February one wearer had the gadget snatch from face in the wake of recording patrons in a bar in San Francisco, and Google has published advice in the US telling users "don't be a glasshole" – a saying that has risen in the US tech scene to depict intruding Glass users.
In spite of this, Glass may even now be unwelcome in specific circumstances. The Department of Transport preemptively banned Glass from being utilized while driving (it now says its researching approaches to permit Glass to be utilized legitimately out and about) while cinema chain Vue has said it will ask clients to remove Glass throughout a film. Since its sale in the US Google has been endeavoring to show all the potential uses for the technology, including setting up a charity named 'Giving Through Glass' that welcomes non-profits to show how they'd utilize the gadget to help their causes.
In the UK Glass has been trialed by the University of Newcastle to help people suffering from Parkinson's, helping them to connect to the internet through voice commands when tremors prevent them from utilizing a computer and giving reminders to take their medication.
Researchers found that despite the fact that responses to Glass were "for the most part positive" there were waiting concerns – including that the gadget's high sticker may make wearers a focus for hoodlums, and the stress that the engineering may essentially make clients subject to others in new ways.
Ross says that the thought behind the UK sale is essentially to get the under the device under hands of "a wide variety of individuals who will help shape the future of this new category," adding that she trusts particularly to connect with groups who have concerns about the gadget.
“Ironically, often, when they actually get to wear Glass they realize – they get to understand it better. The unknown is worse sometimes than the known.” Whether we love Glass or hate it, we're certainly going to know more about it over the coming months."