Google Glass to go on sale in the US in beta form

By Sooraj Shah
14 May 2014 View Comments
Google Glass

Google Glass, the internet giant's wearable technology, is to go on sale in the US in beta form.

The eyewear, which was available to the public for one day last month, will be on sale for anyone in the US as long as stocks last, after Google said it "decided to move to a more open beta".

Further reading

The general public were told last month that they would be able to purchase Google Glass for a single 24-hour period at a price of $1,500 plus sales tax.

Google said that adults could take part in the Glass Explorer Program, a user-group of developers and early buyers who give Google feedback on the device to help with further development.

Google did not reveal how many glasses are available for sale, nor whether it would release more if stock runs out.

The consumer product is due to go on sale in the US at the end of 2014, but even before its release it has been criticised by privacy campaigners, research companies and entrepreneurs.

Aaron Levie, CEO and co-founder at cloud storage and collaboration company Box, told Computing in October that the product is hard to interact with, doesn't have enough utility and will not succeed unless Google enhances it for enterprise use.

He contrasted the product with Apple's iPad and iPhone, which he claims made people quickly feel "unable to imagine there'd ever been a world without them". Google Glass, on the other hand, is something he found he could live without.

There have also been privacy fears from the public. One in five UK and US adults stated that the product should be banned entirely, according to a survey conducted by Rackspace.

DLA Piper partner John McKinlay claimed that the benefits of wearable technology make their rise unstoppable, but called for official guidelines and legislation to ensure that their use is controlled and safe for everyone.

Meanwhile, research firm IHS claims that Google Glass costs just $152.47 to make, a little more than a tenth of Google's asking price, while TechInsights' recently estimated the cost of manufacturing at just $80.

Google has responded to the analyses by claiming that both estimates are wide of the mark.

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