Google Glass is now used by over 50,000 people worldwide and we don’t yet have a clear release date for the customer edition, that should come with a much lower price tag, significant improvements and a better software.
From what we’ve managed to find lately, along with what we’ve known from the past rumors and official announcements by Google employees, we believe the Google Glass release date could be around April, this year. For the moment Google Glass is still available mostly for developers, because Google wants to have a good number of Glassware and apps when they release it officially, this being probably the most important aspect of a device’s success.
In this article we will try to summarize what we know already about Google Glass, what rumors say and what we’d like to see in the customer edition. We know Google is working hard on it and we really expect them to deliver a revolutionary product, especially now that they have a pretty huge fanbase all around the world.
Google Glass Release Date, Availability and Price
Google released the second version of Glass back in November, but in the same manner as before. It’s a limited edition, available either with an invitation from an Explorer or directly from Google for those who signed up to receive one. Unfortunately they do not honor everyone who subscribed, so they will have to wait for the customer edition to be released in order to get their Glass.
As we’ve said previously, we expect the Google Glass release date to be around April, this year. We know that Google is working hard to improve the current device and they also have to sign good contracts with hardware makers in order to lower the device’s price, which is really steep at the moment.
For now, Google Glass costs $1,500 without taxes and we don’t think it’s a price that everyone can pay, especially for a product that doesn’t come with very good hardware and also doesn’t have too many apps available. In order to gain traction, they will have to lower the price significantly and bring more and more developers on board. We expect Google Glass’ price to be between $300 and $400 in April, even though we’re aren’t sure Google will manage to lower it so much.
Google Glass should be available in the US-only and Canada might receive it by the end of the year, though nothing is sure yet. The rest of the world (Europe, Australia, Asia) release date might be years away, as the company is struggling with regulations and voice commands for different languages and accents. We’re confident they will manage to get the voice commands working very well in the next two years, as we’ve tried Google Now in more European languages and it works nearly flawless, so it shouldn’t be much of an issue.
Google Glass Features
The current version of Glass, 2.0, comes with a relatively low resolution prism, but it’s really good and they shouldn’t improve it very much. Displays are mostly about PPI and prism is very small, which means it doesn’t require a high resolutions, as we see on smartphones. It also features a 720p camera which does require improvements, because the quality is not very good. This is probably the thing that needs to be improved the most, as camera is one of its most important features.
We’re also looking to see improvements in battery life, which can only live up to a few hours of continuous use. A future version of Google Glass, with more features and apps, might make people use it even more than now, so an improved battery is definitely a requirement. The problem here is that people expect the customer edition Glass to be less bulky than now and the battery does require space. We don’t really know how Google is going to balance things, but we’re confident they’re going to do a good job.
Google Glass should also come with prescription lenses and that’s why we believe there will be multiple versions of it. There will be at least two versions: one with lenses and one without them, because not everyone needs them. According to some previous rumors, Google might license the device to lens and glasses makers, so you can buy them from your local store, along with your favorite lenses.
It will probably come with the stereo earbuds, though that’s not very sure. They will either bundle them with the device or offer them in the online store, just like now.
One more issue with Google Glass 2.0 is that it doesn’t live very well with heat and humidity. Some users have reported that they returned Glass even monthly because some parts of it wouldn’t work anymore, especially prism. Google should take this very seriously, because it would be huge negative marketing if customers would have to deal with this.
Google Glass Competition and Controversy
Back in August 2013 we’ve made a roundup of Google Glass-like devices. It was an interesting roundup and the competition was already pretty fierce, but now it’s considerably higher. All major tech companies are working on their own Glass-like product and they will flood the market through 2014 and 2015. Fortunately for Glass, they have the best marketing, being the first to physically introduce the product. It’s also built on the Android platform, which comes along with Google’s entire ecosystem, which gives them a huge boost, but Android is open source, so everyone can use it.
Along with competition, that doesn’t seem to be a major threat for now, there is also controversy related to privacy issues. Google Glass keeps getting banned in more and more places and some lawmakers are keeping an eye on it. We’ve already seen Cecilia Abadie, who got a driving ticket for using Glass and, as we said above, some lawmakers would like to ban Google Glass while driving. This is the worst marketing for Google, because Glass is a really good device to use while driving, by putting the navigation directions in front of yours eyes, so you don’t have to take your eyes from the road.
Google Glass release date will probably be in April 2014 for the price of $300 – $400. Its major issues are with privacy concerns and lawmakers that are trying to ban the device. Competition is not very important at the moment and there isn’t any important competitor due to be released in the near future.
The device should become much better once the customer edition gets released. We expect to see major software and hardware improvements that will make Google Glass suitable for everyone.