Google Glass made available in the UK

24 June 2014
By Edd Gent
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Google Glass is currently in the beta stage of development

Google Glass is currently in the beta stage of development

Gadget fans in the UK can finally get their hands on a pair of Google Glass after the device was made available to British consumers.

UK citizens will now be able to buy the device directly from the Glass website as part of the product's Explorer Program, which allows people to buy a beta of the eventual product in order to test them in real life situations.

Until now the program had only been open to residents of the USA, but now for £1,000 anyone over the age of 18 will be able to get a pair of the smart glasses that deliver messages, news and calls directly to users’ field of view.

Just last month the project was extended to normal purchasing consumers in the US for the first time, having previously only been available to developers who wanted to experiment with the head gear while creating software for it.

As well as the wearable technology itself, Google announced four new apps for the device, known as Glassware, including StarChart, which allows users to view constellation maps in the sky through their device.

An app for the Guardian will also deliver headlines directly to the wearer's eyeline. There are also apps for football news site Goal.com and fitness app Zombies, Run!.

Ivy Ross, the head of Google Glass, said: "Technology is at its best when it fits seamlessly into our lives and lets us get on with whatever we're doing. Our goal for Glass is exactly that – to make it easier to bring people the technology they rely on without drawing them out of the moment."

While the launch of the device in the UK is likely to excite those within the industry, Stuart Miles – the founder of technology website Pocket-lint – believes the average consumer still requires some convincing that Glass is the future of tech.

"It's good news for UK customers keen to play with the Glass without having to jump through the numerous hoops to import it from America. Whether it will be enough to convince Brits to embrace the wearable tech, however, is yet to be seen," he said.

Wearable technology is becoming a growing trend in the consumer market however, with smartphone giant Samsung having launched two smartwatches this year alone. Rumours of iPhone maker Apple releasing an iWatch also refuse to go away.

As part of the process of making Glass more appealing to consumers, new frames by fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg have now also been made available.

For those who are interested in trying out Glass, Google has set up a Basecamp in London – running on the 27th and 28th June – where customers can go to be fitted and ask questions about Glass before buying it.

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