Two years after going on sale in the United States, Google has put its Glass smart eyewear on sale in the UK. British buyers will need £1,000 in their pockets and a UK mailing address to make an order, along with a desire not only to be noticed on the street, but also to be a potential target for a good tasering, and random acts of hatred.
Apparently, the UK version will come with the ability to recognize a British accent, and with a variety of country specific apps, including a breaking news app from The Guardian, plus Glass versions of Star Chart, Shazam, and goal.com. Interestingly, Google will also open a “Basecamp” fitting center for Glass in London’s Kings Cross, although it’s not clear whether Glass can actually be purchased and collected in store.
If it wasn’t expensive enough already, Google has increased the price of Glass in the UK. Buyers in the U.S. pay $1,500 for the privilege of being a beta-tester, while the UK’s £1,500 price converts over to $1,700 at today’s currency rates. This could see eager early adopters continue to favor eBay, where prices remain similar to the standard American cost.
Now Glass has come to the UK, expect a new wave of objections and legislation related to the specs, as the country comes to terms with Google’s controversial wearable device. Drivers may want to be careful, as Glass could quickly suffer the same ban as mobile phones, while bars, restaurants, and cinemas could also decide to turn away patrons wearing Glass over privacy concerns.
The UK has become only the second country where Glass is available to buy, leaving more questions as to when they’ll eventual get a wider, public release. In a recent interview, Google’s Sergey Brin indicated it may not happen until the end of this year at the earliest, despite considerable expectation we’d be hearing more during Google I/O. A general release, in the UK at least, now seems unlikely in the near future.
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