Google on Monday published the first specifications of Google Glass augmented reality glasses, which are going to be the first wearable computing device by the company. While the general specs of Google Glass have been available for over a year now, the new list sheds some light on usage-based characteristics of the product.
Google Glass has a 0.5” micro display with 640*350 resolution, which should be equivalent of a 25” high definition screen from eight feet away. The prototype Google Glass augmented reality glasses model XEB (FCC id A4R-X1) have Broadcom 2.40GHz 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 low energy radios, power meters/sensors, thermometer, bone conduction transducer that delivers audio and some other electronics components. The device also integrates 5MP camera that can capture still images as well as 720p video. The product also has 16GB of NAND flash memory, of which 12 GB of memory synced with Google cloud storage is available for the end-user.
Google believes that the built-in battery should be enough for one full day of typical use. Some features, like Hangouts and video recording, are more battery intensive.
Google Glass is compatible with any Bluetooth-capable phone, but required MyGlass companion app which only works on Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher. MyGlass enables GPS and SMS messaging.
Since Google Glass can record video, it should probably have an application processor that handles some of its functions and drives the display. However, the Glass gadget itself should still heavily rely on smartphones’ system-on-chip to perform general-purpose tasks which require decent processing capabilities.
Google is expected to sell select app developers who attended certain Google events and technology enthusiasts (who won a certain contest and can pay $1500 per device) around eight thousand of Google Glass augmented reality glasses in the coming weeks. The sci-fi headset will be assembled by Foxconn Technology in Santa Clara, California at a special facility designed specifically for making small quantities of prototypes.
Target applications for the Google Glass include, among other things, taking and sharing photos, checking appointments, accessing maps and the Internet as well as some other, like e-mail, notification center, information updates and so on.
Given the fact that Google is about to start supplying its Glass to people outside the company for test-driving, it seems that the company has solved the majority of early problems with the user interface, battery life, input methods and other. While the product will not reach consumers for about a year, it appears that the search giant is on track with the development.
If Google succeeds in creation of wearable systems with displays incorporated into glasses, then it will be able to further broaden availability of its services that will be present not only on PCs or mobile devices, but virtually everywhere.