Sergey Brin, CEO and co-founder of Google, wears a Google Glass during a product demonstration during Google I/O 2012 at Moscone Center in San Francisco, California June 27, 2012. (Photo : REUTERS/Stephen Lam)
Back in April, Google treated everybody to a sneak peek at what their Google X lab is working on, a pair of augmented reality glasses that can become a hands-free virtual device in front of your very own eyes. Yesterday, at Google's annual developers conference, co-founder Sergey Brin officially unveiled the Google Glass project with a spectacle involving skydivers, cyclists, and people rappelling down the side of the convention center.
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In the end, he announced that Project Glass would be made available to developers for $1500 next year. Brin expects a consumer version to roll out one year later.
Google's glasses are currently made of titanium and come with a touchpad on the right side.
The glasses have a number of functions, and Google stresses that their main goal is to integrate technology more seamlessly into everyday life. To achieve this, they placed the display slightly above the user's eyes so it doesn't block the field of vision.
"I expect that in three or four years watching people hold a mobile phone in their hands and look down at it will start to be unusual and that this will be normal," Google product manager Steve Lee said.
It's not hard to see why these futuristic glasses will be appealing. For starters, people can now take hands-free video and pictures. For Brin, this was a huge deal.
He said a great moment was when he tossed his baby up in the air and took a snapshot without having to use his hands.
"To me, that was amazing," he said. "No way I would have this memory if it weren't for this device."
Other features will include Google Maps, hands-free calls and text messaging, and a microphone to record audio. As developers get a chance to give suggestions to Google, the number of functions will surely increase.
As of right now, Google is only offering the glasses to developers in the 6,000 person crowd at Google I/O for a price of $1500. Brin stressed that this is only for those on the "bleeding edge," and that by working with these developers, Google plans to improve on them and launch cheaper consumer versions by 2014.
See the video of Google's over-the-top introduction of Google Project Glass at Google I/O 2012: