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Google Glass is now available for any US resident to buy

by Mark Tyson on 14 May 2014, 12:28

Tags: Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), PC

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaceej

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A month ago Google let any US resident buy its Glass for just a single day. At midnight last night Mountain View informed us that it is now going to "move to a more open beta", and let any US resident buy its wearable tech, as long as stocks are available.

The company is seeking to expand the number of 'Explorers' in order to improve the hardware and software that provide the Glass experience, we are told. This new open beta program is for US residents only and the price remains at an eye-watering $1,500 for potential new buyers (Glass Guinea pigs).

The finalised consumer version of the Glass wearable tech is expected to go on sale towards the end of this year. Hopefully the price will come down significantly with mass production so perhaps there's no need to be envious of US residents who need to fork out such a lot of cash for a work-in-progress device.

Price controversy – now IHS does a teardown

Earlier this month Teardown.com posted an article on the costs of the Google Glass components, manufacturing and testing only amounting to US$80. Market researcher IHS sent an email to HEXUS a few hours ago with its own teardown analysis in the hope of showing Google Glass is "far more than the sum of its parts". However it also did a component teardown of the device…

Jonathan Cassell from IHS wrote that his firm believes Google Glass carries a BOM of $132.47 and a further $20 needs to be added for manufacturing, resulting in a base total of $152.47 - quite a bit more than Teardown.com. He quoted Andrew Rassweiler, senior director, cost benchmarking services for IHS, who said he has previously noted such cost and price disparities on devices which break new technological ground; "this is most dramatically illustrated in Google Glass, where the vast majority of its cost is tied up in non-material costs that include non-recurring engineering (NRE) expenses, extensive software and platform development, as well as tooling costs and other upfront outlays. When you buy Google Glass for $1,500, you are getting far, far more than just $152.47 in parts and manufacturing."

Also it is thought that a cheaper mass produced version could actually be superior in many ways. Talking about the currently distributed Glass, Rassweiler said that it really does feel like a prototype with "many off-the-shelf components that could be further optimized." He also noted that many of the ICs in the prototype are "mature when compared with recent flagship smartphone designs," including its 45nm TI OMAP4430 apps processor.

Surely better things come to those who wait, but as we tech fans know, there's always a new version around the corner and sometimes you have to take the plunge. $1,500 is a pretty deep plunge for such a gadget though, I still feel stung for the £59 I spent on the Leap Motion controller…

HEXUS Forums :: 25 Comments

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Some-one needs to re-read the second last paragraph…

What kind of processor does it have ;)…
@Jowsey It's the breast processor available of course!
The feature image got to me…
Someone needs to move the pic from homepage into this article….
@Jowsey It's the breast processor available of course!

I'm glad people saw it before they changed it ! Otherwise I'd look like a right idiot.