Google Will Let Anyone in the U.S. Buy Google Glass on April 15

Google Glass

Even if you don’t have a Google Glass Explorer invitation, you can soon get your hands on Google’s wearable computer. On Thursday, the company announced a limited promotion on April 15 that opens the doors to anyone in the U.S. to become an Explorer and get a pair of Google Glass with a free frame or shade. This news followed a Verge report that Google was considering such a promotion. Does this say anything about Google Glass in the consumer market? Perhaps. The company has steadily increased availability of Glass Explorer invites over the prior year, meaning that they’re less exclusive than they were prior. Some Google Play Music All Access subscribers, for example, could purchase Glass starting in December. At $1,500, these aren’t an impulse purchase, so I’m wondering if maybe nearly everyone who wants Glass at that price already has the product.

Read the full story at Giga OM, and the original report at The Verge.

Google Glass Promotion

Google Asks Glass Developers To Start Working On Android-Based Apps Ahead Of Glass Development Kit Launch

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It looks like Google is about to unleash a new wave of more powerful applications for Google Glass. Currently, Glass developers can only build apps that are essentially web-based services that talk to the user’s hardware through a set of relatively limited APIs. At its I/O developer conference earlier this year, Google announced that it would soon release its so-called Glass Development Kit (GDK), which would let them build Android-based apps for Glass that can run directly on the device.

So far, however, Google hasn’t launched the GDK. Instead, Google today encouraged developers who are waiting for the GDK to start working on Android apps for Glass using the standard Android SDK (API Level 15) to try out their ideas.

As Google notes, developers can use the SDK to access low-level hardware to render OpenGL and use stock Android UI widgets, for example. Developers can also access the accelerometer of Glass through the SDK.

Glass, after all, runs Android 4.0.4, so it’s a pretty well-known platform for many developers. To help newcomers get started, though, the company also released a number of sample apps (a stopwatch, compass and level) today that highlight some of the things developers can do with Android on Glass. Over the next few weeks, Glass team member Alain Vongsouvanh writes on Google+ today, the team will also use these sample apps to “demonstrate the migration path between a traditional Android app and a full Glass experience.”

For Glass to reach its full potential, developers need better access to the device’s hardware, so it’s nice to see Google moving ahead with this. It’s still a bit of a surprise that Google hasn’t released the GDK yet. And the fact that it made today’s announcement indicates that it could still be a few weeks out. If you’re a Glass developer, though, now is probably a good time to start thinking about how you would use Android on Glass.

Google Patches Major Glass QR Code-Triggered Exploit

Google Glass

Google has quietly patched a Glass security exploit that could have allowed hackers to take control of the wearable by showing it a QR code, the researcher who identified the flaw tells SlashGear. The exploit, discovered by Marc Rogers, Principal Security Researcher at Lookout Mobile Security, took advantage of Glass’ streamlined setup process that saw the camera automatically – and transparently to the wearer – spot QR codes in images and use them to trigger WiFi connections and other configurations. By creating malicious codes, and hiding them in images, Rogers was able to get Glass to connect to a compromised network, show details of all network traffic from the wearable, and even take full remote control. The exploit – which we referred to in our June interview with Rogers, though without specific details as Google and Lookout were still addressing the fix at the time – has been fixed as of Glass firmware XE6, released on June 4.

Read the full story at Slashgear.

An Italian Start-Up is Crowdfunding a $300 Google Glass Imitator

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While Google Glass’s arrival date as a consumer-facing product remains something of a mystery, as does the final pricing structure, we do know it’s in the hands of only a few developers and it currently costs $1,500. This obviously set a challenge for a startup in Italy that thinks it can do better, and at a cheaper price point of just $300 with a March 2014 delivery date. They’ve just kicked off a $150,000 Indiegogo campaign to fund the devices, but claim also to have already found private backing. GlassUp is the name of this AR device and it promises a laundry list of services: Through its tiny on-glasses projector unit it will display: Emails, texts, and other status updates like calendar events and calls, Breaking news, Real-time feedback for sports activities, Turn-by-turn navigation instructions, Translations and more.

Read the full story at Fast Co. Labs.

You could have spent $16,000 on potentially fake Google Glasses, but eBay is no fun

Google Glass

You may not win Google’s contest that allows you the privilege of giving the company $1,500 for an early model of its wearable computing device, Glass, but that doesn’t mean you can’t own one, maybe. If you’re the risky sort who also happens to be rich — or at least irresponsibly spends large wads of cash — you can try your hand at bidding on a Glass over on eBay. However, the unit doesn’t exist just yet, or at least not in the seller’s hands.

In the auction’s item description, the seller says he or she has been selected as a Glass early adopter, and will be receiving a Glass at a launch event. Basically, it’s a pre-order auction, which isn’t uncommon — especially in the world of game console launches when the consoles have a limited availability. However, those auctions usually come with some sort of proof, like a picture of the pre-order receipt, whereas this Glass auction only comes with the hope of not being screwed over.

Google Glass auction

As the early Glass will cost $1,500, the seller began the auction at that price, and six days later the bid is sitting at around $16,000.

The lack of any actual proof isn’t the only thing that makes the auction suspicious, but Google’s contest to be selected as an early adopter is not over yet, and the company said it would let people know if they won sometime around the middle of March. That said, it’s possible that Google let a lucky winner know early, but is finding out worth $16,000? Just wait until the device hits retail, and record videos using your phone instead of your glasses until then.

Unfortunately eBay, as they usually do, pulled the listing a few minutes ago. So we’ll never know if this was a real pair of Google glasses that had escapes the clutches of Google’s product managers or if it was just someone trying to rip off a naive technology lover.