Google looks to make science fiction real with Glasses

Co-founder Sergey Brin looking to ship computerized glasses to consumers by 2014

SAN FRANCISCO -- Google is looking to make science fiction real when it ships its computerized eyeglasses by 2014.

Sergey Brin, CEO and co-founder of Google, wears Google Glasses
Sergey Brin, CEO and co-founder of Google, wears Google Glasses during a product demonstration at the Google I/O 2012 conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. (Image: Stephen Lam / Reuters)

Sergey Brin, a Google co-founder, said the glasses will ship to consumers about a year after the prototype Explorer Edition makes its way to developers, according to an interview he gave Bloomberg TV.

On Wednesday, Brin told the keynote audience at the company's annual Google I/O conference here that developers in attendance would be able to order the Explorer Edition for $1,500 and they would receive the prototypes in 2013.

Brin noted that the consumer version of the glasses would be cheaper than the prototype.

"Since we've showed it to the public in April, we've gotten so many great ideas and so much feedback, we found it so valuable," Brin told Bloomberg. "We want to take that to the next level by letting other people, who are dedicated and serious and willing to be on the cutting edge, letting them do their own experimentation ... and affect our future designs and software."

Google made a huge splash at the opening day of the conference on Wednesday when it showed off the glasses by having two skydivers wear them while jumping out of a plane flying over the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco where the conference is being held. The glasses, which are equipped with a processor, memory, cameras, microphones and speakers, live-streamed video of the jump to giant screens onstage at the keynote.

"We created Glass so you can interact with the virtual world without distracting you from the real world," said Google designer Isabelle Olsson. "We don't want technology to get in the way."

Olsson noted that the Android-based glasses have a small screen, which they positioned right above one of the user's eyes so it adds to their experience without blocking their senses.

Brin told Bloomberg he's really excited to give computing a whole new place in people's lives.

"It's the notion of taking computing, which has moved from giant mainframes to laptops to phones, to perhaps an even lighter and more free form factor," he said. "Google X is about doing brand new risky technological things that are really about making science fiction real. We're not thinking about other existing products that are on the market today. We're trying to do risky things that may or may not work out, but it's got to be something that's really bold."

Google X is lab where the company's engineers and designers can work on future-leaning projects.

Google kicks off its developers conference in San Francisco by unveiling new products. Every developer here gets a new Nexus 7 and Nexus Q.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her email address is

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Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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