What 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.
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.