It may look like an eraser taped to a pair of shades, but Google’s techy specs, aka the Google Glass project, has the potential to revolutionize the way we perceive the world around us. Already available via Google’s expensive beta testing & development scheme, known as ‘Explorer’,’ fans have been awaiting news on Glass’s consumer-level cousin for quite some time now.
In reviewing the first-person platform for The New York Times this week, Clive Thompson revealed the existence of a Glass-only App Store, slated to arrive at some point in the following year. Given that the application station is likely to appear alongside – or even shortly after – the release of the futuristic hardware, the news essentially confirms the Glass as being a 2014 release. Google later endorsed the news as being legitimate, but failed to address whether the App Store would make use of Google Play’s newly revamped games network.
Thompson’s disclosure brings to an end weeks of rumors surrounding the appearance of a ‘Boutique’ app listing, first observed in the innards of a regular ‘Explorer’ patch. Now that the feature has been confirmed (though not yet officially named) it just remains to be seen what kind of applications the service will provide. Addressing listeners at the Telefonica Campus Event in London this week, Google’s Vint Cerf talked up the very real possibility of instant language translators, for both spoken and signed dialects. As regards games, Sean McCracken’s Psyclops looks to be one of the first titles to bring old school arcade delights right into your retina.
In terms of prospective pricing, Taiwanese tech researcher Jason Tsai estimated in August that the high-tech headgear would arrive at retail for around $300, a claim later refuted by industry insider Chris Dale, who also rejected claims of a 2014 Walmart release — meaning that Google may well opt to sell directly to consumers. SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst Robert Peck waded into the argument on Wednesday evening, when he upped the guesstimated figure to a more viable $349 per pair, asserting that Google would likely break even on hardware, only to generate a whopping $3.3 billion in advertising & software revenue by 2017.
As exciting (and economically inviting) as Google Glass now appears, the technology isn’t without its risks. In a situation oddly reminiscent of successful Cyberpunk title Deus Ex: Human Revolution, government bodies are already seeking assurances over privacy controls for what may become an ever-present tech. It isn’t too much of a stretch to imagine facial recognition applications, or non-descript video recorders being abused for criminal or voyeuristic purposes.
Are you excited for the launch of Google Glass? How much would you pay to get your hands on these cyberpunk shades? Will Glass change the face of conversation forever (think Deus Ex‘s social enhancer) In what ways will the tech be utilized and abused? Have your say in the comments below.
Google Glass is expected to launch in 2014, with the ‘Boutique’ App Store set to follow sometime shortly thereafter.
Follow Sam on Twitter @GamingGoo