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Google launches Glass in UK

Google has announced the launch of its landmark smartglass technology in the UK. Glass, the long-awaited and much-hyped prototype of the web giant's wearable tech, will be available for £1,000 and is principally aimed at developers.
The launch marks the second country in which the android-powered technology will be available for paying customers, after the US. The product will be available to anyone over the age of 18, with a credit card and a UK address.

Despite still being in an early 'beta' form, Google is aiming for early adopters of the technology to road test the equipment and report back on any potential bugs and issues.

The hands-free technology is built around a transparent display which projects information in front of the user's eye. It consists of a glasses frame with a built-in camera and microphone for voice activated commands and allows the wearer to record video, take photos, make phonecalls and search the internet on the move, among other functions.

Ivy Ross, head of Glass, told the Guardian: "We know there's a pent-up demand for Glass, from all over the world. As we start to branch out we picked the UK first because we think it has a history of embracing technology, design and fashion, and I think there's a resurgence happening in technology in the UK."

The Guardian has also reported a 'Basecamp' centre in King's Cross in London, near the new UK headquarters of the global search firm, where wearers can trial Glass and be fitted. According to information on Google's Glass website, owners will be able to customise their tech with a range of frames and styles, and prescription lenses.

A number of opponents have raised concerns around potential breaches of privacy, with the technology able to record without subjects being aware of it. In addition, health and safety concerns have been raised. Initial reports from eye health practitioners suggested possibility of eye discomfort and the BBC has reported that the web firm met with the Department of Transport prior to the launch to allay safety concerns of drivers wearing the technology on the road. Conversations are ongoing.

Taken from Optometry Today (www.optometry.co.uk)

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