The first Explorer Editions of Google Glass, which eager developers had to shell out $1500 for during Google I/O last year, have started shipping and to coincide with this, Google has provided an official specification sheet for the high-tech glasses. Anyone expecting Glass’ features to rival top-end smartphones is going to be disappointed, as the camera has 5-megapixels and the video camera shoots at 720p. Wi-Fi and an unknown version of Bluetooth are both installed, along with a total of 16GB of memory, 12GB of which will be usable. This will also sync with Google cloud storage.
Glass’ display is described as high resolution, and viewing it will be like watching a 25-inch TV screen from a distance of eight feet. Audio will be pumped through using a hideous-sounding, “Bone Conduction Transducer.” This isn’t as awful as it sounds, and despite what the name may have you fear, doesn’t require any drilling into the skull. Google recently filed for a patent for the technology, and it has already been seen in some headphones and commercially available hearing aids. It works by channeling sound through the skull to your inner ear.
Google has also released an application named MyGlass inside the Google Play store. It accompanies Glass and allows users to configure and manage the hardware, but it’s useless unless you own the spectacles, so sadly we’re unable to investigate any further.
The final piece of information, and perhaps the most important of all, is the amount of standby time one can expect from Google Glass. Google says we’ll get, “One full day of typical use,” but adds that certain features, such as recording video and holding Google Hangouts, are, “Battery intensive,” which we’ll take as code for, “Will kill the battery much faster.” Could we have expected more from Glass’ battery? Charging them up every night seems convenient – we don’t need to wear them when we’re sleeping, after all – so the limited life may not be as much of a pain as it first sounds.
Although the first Glass units are now shipping to a select few, if this new information has made you even more excited to get your hands on a pair, sadly there’s still no firm news on when they’ll be ready for sale to the public. However, with Google I/O scheduled to take place next month, we may hear something more about Glass’ general availability at that time, given how much of a fuss Google made about them last year.