Google Glass now available in UK

Banbury Cake: Google Glass is being made available to UK consumers for the first time Google Glass is being made available to UK consumers for the first time

Google Glass - the wearable smartphone that delivers messages, news and calls directly to your field of view - has been made available to users in the UK for the first time.

Britons will now be able to buy the device directly from the Glass website as part of the product's Explorer Program, the name Google gives to users of the device - who they say are testing it for them in real life situations.

The Glass Explorer Program allows anyone over the age of 18 to buy the prototype headset and until now had only been open to US residents, giving them the chance to test Glass while it is still being developed by the search engine giant.

Getting hold of Glass however will set you back £1,000.

Just last month the project was extended to normal consumers in the US for the first time, having previously only been available to developers who wanted to experiment with the head gear while creating software for it.

As well as the wearable technology itself, Google announced four new apps for the device, known as Glassware, including StarChart, which allows users to view constellation maps in the sky through their device.

An app for the Guardian will also deliver headlines directly to the wearer's eyeline. There are also apps for football news site Goal.com and fitness app Zombies, Run!.

Ivy Ross, the head of Google Glass, said: "Technology is at its best when it fits seamlessly into our lives and lets us get on with whatever we're doing. Our goal for Glass is exactly that - to make it easier to bring people the technology they rely on without drawing them out of the moment."

Google Glass is still not technically a full consumer product, with the California company saying that this is just an extension of the existing Explorer Program - which Google says is a wide-range of testers for Glass in order to make it better ahead of a general release in the future.

Glass is a result of the company's mysterious Google X lab, where staff are encouraged to use "moonshot thinking" in order to create new products. Other items to come from the lab include smart contact lens that can monitor insulin in the tear ducts, and the self-driving car that is currently being tested.

Several major companies have already been testing Glass, with airline Virgin Atlantic using the device with their upper class passengers; deploying the device to manage flight details and organise transfers.

While the launch of the device in the UK is likely to excite those within the industry, Stuart Miles - the founder of technology website Pocket-lint - believes the average consumer still requires some convincing that Glass is the future of tech.

"It's good news for UK customers keen to play with the Glass without having to jump through the numerous hoops to import it from America. Whether it will be enough to convince Brits to embrace the wearable tech, however, is yet to be seen," he said.

Wearable technology is becoming a growing trend in the consumer market however, with smartphone giant Samsung having launched two smartwatches this year alone. While rumours of iPhone maker Apple releasing an iWatch refuse to go away.

As part of the process of making Glass more appealing to consumers, new frames by fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg have now also been made available.

For those who are interested in trying out Glass, Google has set up a Basecamp in London - running on the 27th and 28th June - where customers can go to be fitted and ask questions about Glass before buying it.

Comments (1)

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7:44pm Mon 23 Jun 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

We'll know it's important when local authorities start banning people from wearing them in town or city halls around the country...
We'll know it's important when local authorities start banning people from wearing them in town or city halls around the country... Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: -1
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