UK & World News

  • 24 June 2014, 2:27

Google Glass Launches In UK: Yours For 1,000

Search engine giant Google has launched its wearable gadget Glass in the UK.

The company's Explorer Programme is now allowing any UK resident over the age of 18 to purchase Glass online - but it is still described as being in the prototype phase.

A limited invite-only programme has been running in the US since 2012, followed by occasional one-day sales.

Google is asking Glass users for their feedback on the functionality of the 1,000 device.

The company has not released any sales figures so far, but it is estimated there are as many as 300,000 users of the futuristic-looking glasses in the US.

Glass is a lightweight frame with a display that rests above the right eye allowing users to search the internet with voice control and watch videos, read emails and other activities.

At the UK launch, Marketing Director of Google Glass Ed Sanders said: "One of the reasons we're here in the UK is the country's spirit of innovation. The consumers, developers and inventors in the UK have a very rich heritage of embracing new technology.

"Glass is not a finished product yet and part of the spirit of the explorer programme is so that we can work closely with developers and consumers in the UK at a local level to find out what will take the product forward."

Google will not say how many units are being sold as part of this launch but it is expected to be a similar number to that of the initial US Explorer Programme which is estimated to have sold tens of thousands.

Speaking at the launch, technology journalist Chris Merriman says the company might have trouble getting people in the UK to embrace the product as much as in the US.

"There are problems with Google Glass in the UK. Number one is the great British reserve.

"We're people that don't talk to each other on the tube so I can't imagine people saying out loud 'ok glass take a picture' and not feeling nervous or embarrassed.

"I think we could probably get used to seeing them and using them but as British, it will take an appropriate amount of time."

Google has faced criticism for its device with some states in the US moving to ban motorists from using them whilst on the road. There have also been fears of an invasion of privacy.

Along with the launch of the UK Explorer Programme, new applications are being released, including astronomy app Star Chart and fitness game Zombies Run.

Sky News is already available on Glass through the WatchUp app.

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