Tag: smartglasses

Google Glass now available for public sale in the UK

Consumers in the United Kingdom can purchase the smartglasses for £1,000

Two years after being launched in the United States, UK consumers who own a credit card and who are over the age of 18 can now purchase Google Glass, which carries a price tag of £1,000 (just over US$1,700).

Even though they are on sale for the general public, the glasses are still in beta form.

According to Google, its wearable devices that have been made available for purchase in the United Kingdom are still only prototypes. The company wants the consumers who are the first to buy the product to use the gadgets, report problems and offers suggestions to help improve Google Glass’s future development. Once the beta phase is over, the official product is anticipated to cost about the same as the typical smartphone.

Glass can support prescription lenses and, soon, users will be able to choose from 5 swappable frames and 8 sunglasses from fashion designer Diane von Fürstenberg. In addition, owners of this wearable tech will be able to resell the glasses just as users can sell their mobile devices. At present, there are several different older models of Glass up for auction and for sale on the UK eBay site from US sellers. However, prices are close to £950, which is not much cheaper than the newly released prototype.

The Google Glass version released in the UK will have better features than earlier models.

Google Glass UKSince it was first introduced, Glass has been revised three times and has undergone several software updates. The UK model will have longer battery life than previous versions and will also be equipped with certain customizations that will enable it to adapt voice recognition software to accommodate varying British accents.

Consumers have the option of purchasing the wearable device online and having it shipped directly to them or they can head to the “Basecamp” center in King’s Cross in London, which Google has opened up for those who wish for a trial and fitting.

In addition, the UK variant of Google Glass can run “Glassware”, specialized Android apps. There will be 5 new apps made available from launch that are specific to the UK. These include apps from Guardian, Shazam, Star Chart, goal.com and Zombies Run.

Augmented reality use to increase by 333 percent in 5 years

The expanding use of both smart phones and smart glasses are predicted to expand the use of the tech.

According to a recent report released by Juniper Research, there are an estimated 60 million people worldwide who use augmented reality applications on a regular basis.

This report also stated that this figure should jump to 200 million by the year 2018.

It was also noted in the report that augmented reality has the opportunity to take off from its current focus in the gaming and navigation environments and will expand into much greater everyday use purposes. The publication stated that “Initial innovations will stem from games, such as Google Ingress, but the technology will expand to include lifestyle and fitness apps.” It also added that there is a chance for “paradigm shifting utilization of AR within social media, potentially breaking the digital-physical wall with potential future uses allowing a digital representation of a person to appear in the users surroundings.”

By the year 2018, games and location based augmented reality will represent under half of the tech’s usage.

Augmented Reality to increase 333 percent in 5 yearsJuniper believes that by that time, augmented reality will have expanded greatly into areas such as healthcare and lifestyle. It could help with remote doctor visit experiences, as well as to help to enhance the remote shopping experience as well as that through social networks. It has also seen a potential future in enterprise, such as providing technical specs for aircraft mechanics and drawings to overlay on machinery for engineers to use for building new technologies.

Some companies have already started to use augmented reality for this type of project, such as SpaceX and Elon Musk, which use AR tech for designing new components for rockets. That said, the majority of apps that use this technology, such as Layar, provide content overlaid on paper to make it “come to life” with such elements as added data and video. It was pointed out that most of them are ad funded. Juniper also pointed out that there are a few pay-per-download and some that are freemium.

Equally, Juniper feels that the augmented reality industry will only benefit from the increasing dominance of Android, as it will help to improve AR’s current situation which is seen as rather buggy and fragmented.