Google stretches Glass user base to UK
Beta Explorer programme extended to Brits, marking first availability of smart eyewear outside US
Google Inc has extended the fledgling market for its Glass smart eyewear product to the UK, the Register reported.
The wearable tech, compatible with both Android and iOS platforms, comes with a display that mirrors the effect of a 63.5cm HD screen placed 2.4 metres from the user, and features a 5MP camera.
"Beginning today, we're extending our open beta Explorer programme to the UK," Google said in a statement. "The world sees the UK as a centre of innovation... It has produced some of the greatest technology inventors and inventions of the last century, and people on the ground are always excited to explore new products and ideas."
The move marks the first time Google Glass has been available officially outside the US, as Google widens its user base slowly in a bid to hone the technology. UK users will pay £1,000 ($1,700 or AED6,250). US Glass-wearers are paying $1,500, but many have to pay additional sales tax.
Last month ITP.net confirmed that Virgin retail stores in Dubai were selling Google Glass headsets for AED10,000. However, Google spokesperson Joyce Baz told us the products were "not officially connected with Google".
"It is a Glass product," Baz said in emailed statement, "but it is still under Explorer mode (strictly in the US), which means it is not the final one and is still being enhanced.... Google does not organize the reselling."
Also last month, Dubai Police announced plans to use Google Glass to issue fines to motorists and identify wanted cars.