Google Glass development charges ahead

As the tech giant gets ready to ship its wearable platform to developers this year, it continues to tinker with software, hardware, phone call capability, battery life, and voice commands.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin models the Google Glass project during Google I/O in June 2012. Stephen Shankland/CNET

It's been six months since Google unveiled its Google Glass project, and it appears the tech giant is still hard at work ironing out the kinks to get the product ready for consumption.

In an interview with IEEE Spectrum published today, the head of the Google Glass project, Babak Parviz, said his team is continuing to try out new ideas and that both the software and hardware development is coming along.

"We constantly try out new ideas of how this platform can be used," Parviz told IEEE Spectrum. "We're also trying to make the platform more robust. This includes making the hardware more robust and the software more robust, so we can ship it to developers early this year."

Google first debuted the titanium-framed glasses headset during its Google I/O conference in June. At the time, the wearable platform had video and audio capability , along with a built-in compass and accelerometer, and it was controlled by head movements.

In his interview, Parviz added some insight on what the company has been working on since that July debut. Right now, he said, the device has a touch pad for changing settings and Google is experimenting with voice commands. Parviz's team is also working on adding in a phone call feature to the glasses, as well as amping up the battery life to last an entire day.

Currently, Parviz said Google doesn't have any plans to display advertising on the device. Also, it's unclear if the glasses will have incorporated apps or some other type of functionality.

"This is a complicated thing. This is not a laptop or a smartphone. It's an entirely new platform. So how people interact with it and what people do with it is totally new territory," Parviz said. "But we hope that when we ship this to developers, other people will also figure out what this very powerful platform is able to do."

Glass most likely won't be available to consumers until 2014, but Google has said that a select group of developers will have the chance to purchase the $1,500 "Explorer" edition of the device in early 2013.

 

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