Consumers hoping to buy a set of Google’s Glass networked spectacles will have to wait until 2014, according to Google chairman Eric Schmidt.
The first wave of Explorer Edition Glass headsets, began shipping to developers this week, but for those who missed out on the hardware’s initial run, it looks like patience will be a virtue.
Eric Schmidt has said Google Glass for consumers is “probably a year-ish away.”
Responding to the host’s question, “how soon is [Google Glass] likely to come onto the market?” Schmidt said, “there will be thousands of [Google Glass] in use by developers over the next months, and then based on their feedback, we’ll make some product changes, and it’s probably a year-ish away.”
Granted, that could still mean they will come available for pre-order in 2013, however based on the year-ish comment — it is looking like they will not be shipping this year.
Speaking to Radio 4’s World at One, Mr Schmidt also emphasised Google’s commitment to the wider UK economy in the face of criticism that it avoids taxes and pays staff through Ireland, says the Telegraph.
“The most important thing to say about our taxes is that we fully comply with the law and we’ll obviously, should the law change, we’ll comply with that as well,” he said.
Google reportedly assembled the Explorer Edition at a Foxconn factory in California and, besides developers, it has only made Glass available to 8,000 competition winners in the US.
However, it’s not clear whether production will remain in the US in the longer term. Google was aiming for a consumer price range of $200 to $600, according to the New York Times, meaning a move to a lower-cost production centre is likely.
In addition to revealing a pushed back launch date, Schmidt also addressed some of the concerns being voiced regarding Google Glass wearers invading the privacy of others, informs Dvice.
Schmidt said, “the fact of the matter is that we’ll have to develop some new social etiquette. It’s obviously not appropriate to wear these glasses in situations where recording is not correct.
“Companies like Google have a very important responsibility to keep your information safe but you have a responsibility as well which is to understand what you’re doing, how you’re doing it, and behave appropriately and also keep everything up to date.”
He also claimed that the web would drive global economic and security benefits.
“The good news is that it’s very difficult to be a terrorist right now and keep your digital tracks completely secret,” he said.
“If you look at what happened with Osama bin Laden, it was ultimately some activities of his driver that allowed him to ultimately be traced and ultimately be killed. It’s very difficult for humans to stay completely off the grid.”
By contrast, however, Mr Schmidt said technology also allowed malevolent forces to exercise greater influence.
“The bad news is that you can imagine that the digital network will allow terrorists to, for example, merge with some of the sort of evil financial scammers. You could imagine a terrorist group with a good hacking community with some money, could actually do some significant damage.”
Asked about privacy implications of wearable technology, Schmidt said society will need to develop new social etiquette to accommodate it, similar to the way it has set rules for the appropriate usage of smartphones.