Google Glass getting closer to launch

Google’s much anticipating upcoming Google Glass is showing great progress in becoming something useful to the average consumer. The device is scheduled to launch this summer with a pricetag ‘less than $1500′ which will probably equate to around £1000 in the UK.

While many consumers will balk at this price – it’s twice the price of a top of the range smartphone unlocked and only slightly less than Apple Macbook computers – the device proves to be revolutionary. And thankfully will all revolutionary technologies over time the price will fall to reasonable levels. The first mobile phones were not only giganic, but also cost such much that their target audience was the rich and bankers.

For those, like myself, who rely on prescription glasses just to be able to see there had been some worry that Google Glass wouldn’t be available to us, or would force us to wear contacts if we wanted to use it. The good news is that Google has now announced that before the end of the year they’ll be bringing out a prescription edition. The bad news is we’ll have to wait a bit longer for it.

Many of us have been skeptical of how much use the Google Glass will actually get, and how many consumers will buy it. Early previews of what it could do first brought the reaction ‘wow’ followed by one of ‘but there’s loads of stuff my smartphone can do that this can’t’. Some of the latter category is now finally being banished as Google shows off the Google Glass interacting with other apps and products that would actually make it useful.

Firstly Gmail – an app that is pretty much essential to those smartphone users that use the service. The app allows you to control it fully with your voice, allowing you to dictate emails and leave audio messages for your email contacts.

There’s also third party apps like note taking software Evernote and newspaper the New York Times. A video of Google showing this off is embedded at the bottom of this post.

Still despite the improvements we’re still not convinced. To get an idea of how useful it would be try using Siri on your iPhone to control everything. You can look at the screen, but not touch it and only control it by talking. It’s very limited it what it can do.

We don’t yet know how good the speech recognition will be on Google Glass, but we’d strongly recommend trying out the device for some time in store before purchasing to see how it responds to your accent. Many Siri users in the UK with regional accents, including myself with a Yorkshire accent, have found the voice recognition app from Apple fails to understand many of our commands even when we repeat them as clearly as we can multiple times. If Google can get over this issue Glass might prove to be a useful successful product in the UK, but if not it will isolate itself to a niche audience of nerds with ‘BBC English’ accents.

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Google Glass getting closer to launch

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