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Google Glass on sale outside US for the first time

Google's high-tech specs cross the pond and bring with them new apps from The Guardian, Goal.com and Zombies, Run!


Google Glass has arrived outside the US for the first time. The high-tech spectacles are now on sale in the UK for £1,000 -- equivalent to $1,700 in the US or AU$1,800 in Australia.

Google Glass is a lightweight frame similar to a pair of glasses without the lenses. Attached to one side a tiny screen sits in front of your right eye, equivalent to a 720p display. You can check your Gmail messages, search the Web, navigate along a journey or see various other functions on the screen using specially made apps, known as Glassware.

Everything is controlled by tapping on the side of the specs, tilting your head, or announcing "OK Google" and telling Glass what to do.

Glass makes phone calls with a mic and a "bone conduction" speaker, or headphones. It also has a built-in camera to take hands-free photos and video.

The Big G is keen to stress that Glass is still a prototype. When first launched to developers in February 2013, early adopters had to apply to be part of a beta test called the Glass Explorer programme. In May this year the Explorer programme was opened up to anyone to buy Glass.

At some point there will be a wider release. In the US, Glass costs $1,500 (equivalent to AU$1,600). Google hasn't said when it'll reach Australia, however.

UK residents over the age of 18 can become a Glass Explorer by purchasing the facially mounted gadget directly from google.co.uk/glass.

New Glass apps also announced today include British newspaper The Guardian, which shows you breaking news alerts and enables you to save news stories to read later. The soccer-themed Goal.com app keeps up with football news, while StarChart is an augmented reality app that enables you to look up at the sky to discover the stars, planets and constellations above you.

The Zombies, Run! app is a new version of the popular fitness game. The app makes running more interesting by adding a fictional narrative, co-created by novelist Naomi Alderman, with an audio story that sees you running from zombies.