It’s Gettin’ Real: Google Glass Ready For Shipping, API Live & Specs Revealed

google-glass-200pxWhat seemed like some crazy, farfetched idea when it was announced more than a year ago is now reality.

In a series of moves late Monday, Google:

  • notified its first batch of “Explorers” (the ones who pre-ordered at Google I/O last year, not the #ifihadglass contest winners) that the first Google Glass devices are rolling off the production line now and are ready to be delivered
  • revealed detailed specs of the device
  • shared the Glass API documentation for developers
  • released a MyGlass companion app in the Google Play store to allow owners to setup their Glass device

Here’s a closer look at each of those items.

Google Glass Ready To Ship

As one of those Google I/O pre-orderers, I got this email in my Inbox at about 5:30 pm Monday.

glass-email

The important points are that the first Glass devices are coming out of production now and, even though not enough have been produced yet for all Explorers to get theirs, Google is going to start delivering them “in waves.” There are no details about how Explorers will pay the $1,500 price tag, how they’ll be delivered/shipped, etc. — just a promise that all those details will be sent in a future email.

In a Glass Explorers community on Google+, some Explorers that live in the San Francisco area are saying that they were able to buy Glass on Monday and will be picking them up in person today.

Google Glass Specs

Google also posted detailed Glass tech specs that include the following:

  • Camera: 5 MP photos and 720p video
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth and 802.11 b/g WiFi
  • Storage: 16gb total Flash memory, 12gb usable memory (synced with Google cloud storage)
  • Battery: “one full day of typical use”
  • Compatibility: any Bluetooth-capable phone

Google says using the Glass display is like looking at a 25-inch HD screen from eight feet away.

Google Glass API

The Glass API is, as you’d expect, heavy on tech details for developers. If you aren’t one, most of it will probably put you to sleep. But, some of the best practices for developers are interesting. It warns that building for Glass involves “challenging design problems,” and encourages devs to avoid surprising users with unexpected functionality, make sure their apps respond quickly to user actions and get out of the user’s way when appropriate.

MyGlass Android App

Although the Glass specs (above) say the device will work with any Bluetooth-capable phone, right now there’s only a setup app for Android users. It’s called MyGlass. It’s free, and it requires Android 4.0.3 or higher.

Google says using MyGlass lets users “configure and manage your Glass device,” and will enable GPS and SMS messaging.

For those who don’t want to or can’t use that app (including iPhone users, unless an iPhone setup app shows up in the App Store soon), Google also has a web-based setup page.

So, there you have it. As the saying goes … it’s gettin’ real. In addition to the Glass device, be on the lookout soon for companies to announce that they’re building apps for it. Investor John Doerr recently mentioned that Twitter, Evernote, Path and The New York Times are already working on apps. And, Mark Zuckerberg already revealed that Facebook has engineers doing the same.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Channel: Search Marketing | Google | Google: Glass | Top News

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About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Marketing Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • http://twitter.com/YoungbloodJoe Joe Youngblood

    Interesting that the Google Glass uses the services of an Android phone. I wonder how long until phone manufacturers restrict that usage? (or try to). I laid out the Google Glass specs along side the top 2 phones of the year for camera, video, and price below. edit: added GoPro Hero 3 Black edition specs since that seems to be part of the market Google is aiming at.

    iphone 5 camera: 8 MP
    samsung galaxy s4 camera: 13 MP
    gopro hero 3 black camera: 12 MP
    google glass camera: 5 MP

    iphone 5 video: 1080p HD (30 fps)
    samsung galaxy s4 video: 1080p HD (30 fps)
    gopro hero 3 black video: 1080p HD (60 fps)
    google glass video: 720p HD (unknown fps)

    iphone 5 sms messaging: yes
    samsung galaxy s4 sms messaging: yes
    gopro hero 3 black sms messaging: no (it’s only a camera)
    google glass sms messaging: yes (with android powered phone)

    iphone 5 price: $650 (ATT off contract)
    samsung galaxy s4 price: $640 (ATT off contract)
    gopro hero 3 black price: $399 (no data connection required)
    google glass price: $1,500 (Google, no contract)

  • http://twitter.com/YoungbloodJoe Joe Youngblood

    From Google Glass FAQ’s

    “It might be harder to hear Glass or use voice input commands in noisy areas, and it might be harder to see the Glass screen in bright sunlight. Also, you may be in certain places like a doctor’s office where those around you don’t feel comfortable being photographed or captured on video. Always consider your surroundings – just like you would with a cell phone. Above all, be considerate.”

    hmm didn’t their ‘demo video’ show it being used in very loud areas (roller coaster) and in the bright sun?

  • Matt McGee

    Even if it did, they’re only saying that audio features may be more difficult in noisy situations … which is common sense, right? Noise shouldn’t have any impact on its ability to shoot video, take photos and whatever else, right?

  • http://twitter.com/YoungbloodJoe Joe Youngblood

    “or use voice input commands” the whole thing is voice activiated? “ok glass…” still, I like the fact that Google+ doesn’t appear to be the defacto storage place so I might give it a whirl.

  • http://www.facebook.com/iwan.uswak Iwan Uswak

    This is what you are NOT allowed to do with Google Glass – Terms of Service [Infographic]

    http://glass-apps.org/google-glass-apps-terms-of-service-meme-infographic

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