Google is making its Glass Explorer Edition available to the public again, according to reports the device can be bought for $1,500 by American buyers only. Google announced the renewed availability of Glass on its blog which also states that glass is now in an “open beta” stage undergoing further software and development processes.
The consumer version of Google Glass is reported to go on sale at the end of this year, which Google promises will be more affordable than the current prototype. The device has proved to be widely popular amongst buyers, however, glitches in the device’s usability have been cited. Google’s Explorer program allows buyers to give their feedback about the device after they have purchased it - Google is using this feedback to improve Glass and its functions.
The tech firm has not confirmed how many glasses it intends to sell in the US or if the glasses will be made available again after existing stocks sell out.
The innovative wearable device was previously made available to the American public last month for only 24 hours. Prior to this, Google Glass was only made available to an exclusive group of individuals like app developers, and celebrities who showed an interest in Glass as well.
As the latest must-have wearable device, Glass has numerous functions that include voice activation, driving directions, wireless web connectivity via a mobile device, and access to the user’s email inbox as well. Glass has a small electronic screen which is located on the frames of the device. Google has also recently introduced designer frames, sunglasses and frames for prescription lenses as well.
According to reports, Glass has earned Google $50 million which is a good indicator for how the consumer version of Glass will perform on the market. Google’s intention for Glass is that it will be embraced as a wearable computer that is capable of performing the same tasks as a computer, but on a more mobile level.
The cost of Glass has been highly criticised, teardown’s analytical report has shown that Glass’ manufacturing costs are much lower than what the device actually retails for. In total, Glass’ components cost a mere $79.78, the cheapest component is Google Glass’ battery which costs $1.14. Google has adamantly denied these estimated costs by stating:
“While we appreciate teardown.com’s attempt to guess the cost of Glass, their estimate is wildly off. Glass - parts and all - costs significantly more than their estimate.”
IHS has made another estimation which concludes that Glass is being manufactured for just $152.47.
The allegations that Glass is being sold at an inflated price is being supported by the fact that Glass does not support lenses. Buyers who require prescription lenses will have to pay an additional $225 for frames that will support lenses, these lenses have to be fitted by an optician raising the total cost of the device to $1,725, but that does not include optician fees.
Despite the frenzied speculations and suspicious surrounding Glass perhaps only one thing can be certain, Google have so far succeeded at developing Glass into a highly desirable consumer item. They have achieved this by raising the curiosity of consumers, and playing upon their growing appetite for wearable devices ultimately making Glass a must-have gadget.