Is the Google Glass prototype worth $1500?

Google developers at the I/O 2012 conference can pre-order a Google Glass prototype for US$1500, complete with a software developer kit.

(Screenshot by James Martin/CNET)

Google Glass is an effort to make computerised glasses with a touchscreen as light as sunglasses. Google employees have been testing the prototypes and running with them to deliver first-person experiences to friends. In other words, Google Glass is accelerating the development of what used to be science fiction.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin said that Google wants developers to get early access to the glasses in order to help shape the product — and presumably to develop apps for it. He added that the glasses are "not a consumer device". Orders will only be taken at the conference, and the glasses will ship in early 2013.

Is the US$1500 price tag worth it to be bleeding edge and perhaps a cool kid on the geek block?

That's the big question for developers. Assuming you can expense it, the Google Glass purchase is a no brainer. If not, you need to make the following bets:

  • Google Glasses can be a mass-production gadget

  • There are consumer application dollars in Google Glasses

  • There are corporate applications that could yield big bucks

  • There's an intangible value to being bleeding edge

  • You'll ultimately be able to monetise apps through Google, its ecosystem and Google Glasses.

Chances are that the glasses won't be a mass-production gadget any time soon. Let's assume that Google can cut the price of the prototype by half — US$750 — the glasses will still cost a hefty chunk of change. At that price — or even US$500 — they will compete with iPads, laptops and every other device. Wallets are only so big.

Those caveats aside, the first killer app for Google Glass, which aims to bridge virtual and real worlds, could be a game changer.

Would you pre-order the glasses?

Via ZDNet US



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Riddellikins posted a comment   
Australia

Hell yes. A camera, phone, augmented reality and voice control that would work with the technological advances of the release date all combined into one gadget.

One of the few hurdles that I can see in turning this into a consumer product is the social implementations. Now I am a nerd (that is why I read CNet news) and I don't mind people judging me by what I do, but is the rest of the public going to feel the same way?




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