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HindustanTimes Sat,02 Aug 2014

Raise your glass

Sneha Mahale, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, April 24, 2013
First Published: 13:11 IST(24/4/2013) | Last Updated: 01:51 IST(30/4/2013)

It created a buzz when it was announced by Google and even more noise when it made its ramp debut at the New York Fashion Week in 2012. And even though opinions are divided, between those who love Google Glass and those who loathe it, here are five things you need to know about the device.



1.It runs on Android:
In a surprise move last week, techizens were told that the much-awaited device would piggyback on the world’s most-used operating system — the Android. Google CEO Larry Page said the move was an obvious one “so it’s been pretty transportable across devices, and I think that will continue”. Other specs released reveal that the Glass comes with a 5-megapixel camera capable of recording 720p videos, the resolution of the display inside will be equivalent to that of a ‘25-inch high definition screen from eight feet away’. It will also be compatible with any Bluetooth-capable phone and offer 16GB internal storage space. However, the MyGlass companion app is needed for using GPS and SMS and it is only available for smartphones running Android 4.0.3 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher.

2.You cannot sell or loan the Glass currently: 
While early adopters of the device might be an envied lot these days, the technology has come with a price. They cannot sell or loan the $1,500 Glass sent out to them. Each device is registered to the owner’s Google account, making it easy to see if it has been transferred or sold. The terms of sale specifically states: “You may not resell, loan, transfer, or give your device to any other person. If you resell, loan, transfer, or give your device to any other person without Google’s authorisation, Google reserves the right to deactivate the device, and neither you nor the unauthorised person using the device will be entitled to any refund, product support, or product warranty.” A poor student trying to sell the device to pay off his loan was not spared, so don’t even think of passing off its buyer as your ‘uncle or aunty from the US’.

3.Some shops have already banned it:
Even before the Glass hits the streets, many places around the world have declared they are banning it. While ‘loss of privacy’ has been touted as the main reason for this prohibition, ‘stop the cyborgs’ and ‘no carry-home mementos’ at strip clubs too have been cited as causes of concern. And there is no reason to believe that India will react any differently once we get our hands on the actual product. Keep this up, and soon people will have to wear the product just within the confines of their homes.

4.It will not have ads, for now:
Contrary to popular perception, developers have been told to stay off advertising within the device’s display. But the keywords to remember are ‘for now’. Developers have also been told that they cannot charge for apps, as of now. But if you are investing in the technology, do remember that Facebook, Google, YouTube and Twitter started the same way. And we are still seething at the betrayal.

5.It will be out by the end of the year:
Love it or hate it, you won’t be able to ignore the Google Glass for long. While developers and “Glass Explorers” have already managed to get their hands on the tinted frames, the device is under “mass production” and the average user should be available it by the end of the year. And while the device might be a little steep right now ($1,500), the prices are expected to be more competitive when it actually begins to make its way on to the streets.

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