Google Glass sets its sights on UK market
Hi-tech addicts in Northern Ireland can join the legions of 'Glassholes' roaming Californian cities, as Google released its Google Glass headset across the UK. The wearable device, which incorporates a mini-PC and a high definition camera into a pair of glasses, has been released on sale across the UK for the boomtime price of £1,000 (€1,247).
The gadget, which can receive calls and texts when wirelessly connected to a phone, works with a small number of apps and can take photos and videos on command.
It consists of a tiny screen in front of the right eye that appears equivalent in size to a 25-inch desktop display, a battery, a frame and a touch-sensitive panel.
Voice commands allow the user to perform various functions with commands such as: "OK Glass – take a picture".
The camera element has led to fears of privacy infringements, with the device receiving a hostile response in many US cities.
The unit, which is not scheduled to be released in Ireland in the foreseeable future, can now be purchased by anyone over the age of 18 in the UK. A spokesman for Google declined to comment on how many units Google was prepared to sell there.
"Technology is at its best when it fits seamlessly into our lives and lets us get on with whatever we're doing," said Ivy Ross, head of Google Glass. "Our goal for Glass is exactly that – to make it easier to bring people the technology they rely on without drawing them out of the moment."
However, fears have been raised about using Google Glass in vehicles. Here, the Department of Transport has said that it consulted with the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Siochana on a potential ban on wearable devices such as Google Glass in vehicles.