The Google Glass release date is expected to hit the public in 2014. If all goes according to the original plan, consumers will likely be able to get their hands on the wearable gadget as soon as early next year (which is just mere days away). Google chairman Eric Schmidt told BBC back in April that once Google tweaks the Explorer Editions, a final consumer version will release in 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.
This would place the Google Glass release date near April 2014. There have surely been indications that Google is taking big strides towards releasing Glass to the public in the near future. Firstly, the now not-so-mysterious San Francisco barges being designed to house new technologies will likely be utilized as floating Google Glass showrooms. While these plans are currently "on hiatus," it's still evident Google is prepping to showcase the wearable headset to the mainstream markets.
Google Glass prescription lenses also point to an early 2014 release date. Glass Explorer Tim Moore told Mashable that special prescription lens add-ons for the gadget will be available to the public by January. Google employee Brian Matiash recently leaked photos of said add-ons on his Google+ page, furthering evidence that the Internet giant is finalizing its Glass prescription lens designs.
The Glass Explorer Program modification in November also shows Google's efforts to roll out the wearable gadget to a larger population. While initially only developers, contest winners, VIPs, and Explorers and their three invited friends could purchase a Glass headset, the waiting list expansion opened to any US resident "interested in joining." As Google's Schmidt said back in April, the feedback from these Explorers will advance the process of releasing a consumer version of Glass.
The Google Glass price will heavily influence the gadget's ability to be adopted by the masses. The device currently costs a pricey $1,500 for the Explorer edition, though Google is certainly going to significantly slash this price upon its public release. It allegedly costs Google less than $210 to produce a Glass headset. Google is reportedly trying to get the gadget's price down below $600, close to that of a flagship smartphone. A Business Insider (BI) analyst predicts that if Google can price Glass at around $500, it will sell 18 million units by 2018.
Time will tell if Google Glass will go mainstream, but it's unmistakable that 2014 will be the year of wearable tech. Glass is already seeing viable competitors ahead of its release. Atheer One (portable and immersive smart glasses) and LaForge smartspecks offer Glass alternatives. Microsoft, Samsung, Apple and Sony are also reportedly in talks of releasing a wearable camera. These are just a few Google Glass competitors. By the end of 2014, consumers will have a fairly clear picture of which wearable tech gadgets have hit and which have missed in the public market.
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