Google Glass will be released to the public 'in 2014', says Eric Schmidt

Google Glass will be released to the public 'in 2014', says Eric Schmidt

Summary: It appears that Google is still sticking to the timeframe for a general-release version of Glass that it set out at the project's genesis.

TOPICS: Hardware, Google

Consumers hoping to buy a set of Google's Glass networked spectacles will have to wait until 2014, according to Google chairman Eric Schmidt.

The first wave of Explorer Edition Glass headsets, began shipping to developers this week, but for those who missed out on the hardware's initial run, it looks like patience will be a virtue.

In an interview with the BBC this weekend, Schmidt said Google will probably be making some changes to the Explorer Edition before a final consumer release goes ahead in early 2014.

"Well, the developers are beginning now. It would be fair to say that there will be thousands of these in use by developers over the next months and based on their feedback we'll make some product changes and it's probably a year-ish away," he said. 

The timeframe leaves some wiggle room on the final release date, but it suggests a generally-available version of the product will not be ready for consumers by the end of 2013, as Google had previously indicated.

Indeed, it appears to be closer to the timeframe Google co-founder Sergey Brin set when he first demonstrated Glass being used to capture a skydive in June 2012. At the time, Brin said he hoped to release the Explorer Edition in early 2013 and have a broad consumer offering available within a year from that point.

Schmidt did not discuss price for any general-release edition of Glass, although it's likely to cost less than the $1500 price tag on the Explorer Edition.

Google reportedly assembled the Explorer Edition at a Foxconn factory in California and, besides developers, it has only made Glass available to 8,000 competition winners in the US. However, it's not clear whether production will remain in the US in the longer term. Google was aiming for a consumer price range of $200 to $600, according to the New York Times, meaning a move to a lower-cost production centre is likely.

Asked about privacy implications of wearable technology, Schmidt said society will need to develop new social etiquette to accommodate it, similar to the way it has set rules for the appropriate usage of smartphones.

"In general, these kinds of body wearable devices will bring in a whole bunch of such concerns and the fact of the matter is we'll have to develop some new social etiquette. It's obviously not appropriate to wear these glasses in situations where recording is not correct. And indeed you have already these sorts of problems with phones," he told the BBC.

Topics: Hardware, Google

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • Privacy, safety and law

    Schmidt says society will need to develop "new social etiquette to accommodate it, similar to the way it has set rules for the appropriate usage of smartphones." Really? Think again. There is more to the use of Google Glass than etiquette. It will also need to be about state and municipality law enforcement and government regulation in some fashion.

    Will it be acceptable for the world to drive automobiles or fly airplanes or engineer a train while wearing glasses that let them browse the internet while simultaneously staring out at traffic, or oncoming children or vehicles with .25% of one's brain concentrating on the driving and not the website he or she is viewing ? No. Even with strong lobbying forces, these topics should be discussed before millions of individuals suddenly purchase google glass and put others at serious risk of harm.

    We have laws in the US against texting while driving and use of a phone while driving. They'll need to be adapted at least. Thus why smartwatches are a more likely and adoptable medium for widespread and faster adoption rates in my opinion.
    John Senall
    • That's why Googl'es waiting until 2014 to realease them to the public

      because at the rate Washington moves, it'll take that long to pay-off all the right Senators so that it will be legal to drive automobiles or fly airplanes or engineer a train while wearing glasses that let them browse the internet while simultaneously staring out windshield.
      William Farrel
  • Headsup devices are safer than non-headsup devices

    Headsup devices have been used in the military for decades. It's better not to take your eyes off the road than to take your eyes off the road and look down at the speedometer or radio or Garman.

    Automobile will be where most the apps will go to. App development for automobiles will be a gold mine for developers.
    Tim Jordan
    • Not really the same.

      a HUD 3 feet in front of you displaying pertinent information to the operation of the vehicle is one thing. looking up directions is something else.

      There is also an issue with sensory overlaod, so HUD's on fighter aircraft are specific and display just specific info.

      In Apache helicopter the IHADSS worn by the gunner is used for sighting targets as remember, this isn't the guy flying the helicopter.
      William Farrel
      • HUD is used for pilots

        HUDs have been used for quite some time by pilots of both airplanes and Space Shuttles. I flew in the astronaut Space Shuttle trainer at NASA a couple of times. I assure you that the shuttle was piloted with the HUD in use. It would have been easy to research the use of HUDs online and not make your mistake.
        • You didn't read what I said

          "a HUD 3 feet in front of you displaying pertinent information to the operation of the vehicle is one thing"

          Trust me, I'm quite familiar with a HUD

          Have you seen where in fighter aircraft like the F/A 18 where the Heads Up Display is? It isn't an inch in front of the pilot's eye on a eyepiece, it's in front of him, center, at the top of the control console, as with most aircraft.

          So as you see, I made no mistake.

          Where the technology is positioned changes the metrics dramatically.
          William Farrel
    • I agree but...

      The average Military person is 1000% more responsible than the average driver. There are going to be clowns watching p*rn while driving and causing mayhem. I expect laws to get passed to ban their use by the driver of a car - at least in the Nanny States.

      PS - love listening to Eric Schmidt talk about Google's tax paying history in the UK. Sounds a lot like David Stockman's 'trickle down' economic theory. But when Liberals do it, it's magically noble and right. LOL!
      beau parisi
  • Unless you have 20-20 vision you're required to were your glasses

    Being able to see the road is important to the safety of yourself and others on the road and unless you're psychic, you don't know how to get everywhere and have to use a Garmin. It would be better if the exit ramp knew you needed to take it and could turn on an arrow to tell you make this turn. Now that would be safe and that is exactly what sort of thing can be done with Glass.

    Unless you're psychic driving without your Glass could be made illegal unless you're in a self driving car.!
    Tim Jordan
    • I just have my Garman tell me, in clear English

      so this why I never take my eye off the road, and there is absolutely nothing blocking my field of vision.

      I would hate to have that arrow pop up in one eye, lose my depth perception at a critical moment should the guy in front of me be slamming on his brakes!
      William Farrel
  • It's going to come down to marketing

    I have said it from the beginning.. There is definitely value in this type of form factor, but Google is going to have to convince everyone that Glass isn't what they think it is. It's all going to rest on their marketing/lobby team. People have paranoid fantasies of people recording their every move and "the death of privacy." I don't know if anyone's noticed, but privacy has been dead for a few years. Google needs to let people know about the inherent value of this product VERSUS the smartphone. It's going to be key for Google to compare the product to smartphones at every chance instead of a totally new product, it's another evolution in mobile.
    • What is the inherent value of this product VERSUS the smartphone

      to the average consumer?
      • Isn't it obvious by the grotesque look?

        The inherent value is that one can say "I can look up the definition of 'garish' on my glasses."