Google's "Project Glass" has seen quite a bit of buzz since the wearable communication device was made available to a limited amount of beta testers earlier this year. In an interview with the BBC, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt discussed when Google Glass will be commercially available and how the device will change human interaction and social norms.
Schmidt had this to say about the timeline for Google Glass: "It's fair to say that thousands of these will be in use by developers over the next months, and then based on their feedback we will make some product changes, and it's probably a year-ish away."
Currently, Google Glass is only available to the hand-picked group of testers who shelled out $1,500. Many already have their device and are writing about their experiences using it.
Schmidt acknowledged Glass's cost, saying "the price tag was set for developers for early test. We don't have news to announce there. I'm not sure I would call it a luxury price, but it's a pretty high price."
The public's reaction to Google Glass has been mixed. It seems that people are either really excited to try the new technology, or they worry that it will become the downfall of normal human interaction and privacy.
"The fact of the matter is we'll have to develop some new social etiquette," Schmidt told the BBC. "It's obviously not appropriate to wear these glasses in situations where recording is not correct, and indeed you have this problem already with phones."
Working the specialty coffee scene near Google's San Francisco office, I have had the pleasure of serving several people wearing Google Glass and I'll admit that it is very distracting to try to have a normal conversation with someone when you are not sure if you are being recorded. I am constantly wondering where the footage will end up and I instantly become extremely self aware and uncomfortable. (In my dystopian future, I imagine people checking their Google Glass at the door before entering speakeasy-type establishments. A vision that may not be too far-fetched.)
Schmidt addressed the issue of privacy: "Companies like Google have a very important responsibility to keep your information safe. You have responsibility as well to understand what you are doing and how you are doing it and obey appropriately and also keep everything up to date."
You can check out the full BBC interview here.