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March 10, 2014updated 22 Sep 2016 11:10am

How much will Google Glass cost?

Will you be able to afford it?

By Amy-Jo Crowley

First announced in spring 2012, Google Glass is now in use by a limited number of Google employees, developers and a few thousand from the Google Glass Explorer programme.

Right now, the price of Google Glass is $1,500, and that doesn’t include tax or the frames for prescription lenses and sunglasses you might need to go with it. But don’t despair just yet. What if that price could be lowered to as little as $200 when the consumer version of Glass goes on sale by the end of 2014?

Below, CBR tells you how that could happen as well as some of the latest specs.

1. Production cost



In June 2013, a report detailing the complete teardown of Google Glass components was published by Catwig.

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It found a non-replaceable Lithium Polymer 570maH battery, a custom Synaptics touchpad controller, a TI OMAP4430 chip and an RS cable among other components.

"The build quality is what you’d expect from a device that costs as much as a high-end laptop. Everything fits together precisely, and has a solid feel and great surface finish," it stated.

Another report from IHS iSuppli on the Galaxy S4 shows how the production costs add up to a cheap modern smartphone.

Kevin Keller, a senior principal analyst for the researching firm, told online financial newsite Minyaville that he expected the bill of the materials for Google Glass to be "well under $200".

Forbes also guessed the manufacturing cost of the device would not exceed $150.

"And even if you account for the much smaller volumes of Glass vs. a typical smartphone, $200 seems an incredibly safe bet," said contributor Mark Rogowsky in the article.

The China Post and Phone Arena also reported the gadget could cost $299.


2. Demand


The future price tag of Google Glass could also be lowered to create consumer demand, according to Google Glass Explorer and technology.

In a blog post, he said any success of Glass depends on the price.

"Each audience I asked at the end of my presentations "who would buy this?" As the price got down to $200 literally every hand went up," he said.

"At $500 a few hands went up. This was consistent, whether talking with students, or more mainstream, older audiences."

3. Extra costs


In January, Google added a new range of titanium frames and sunglasses to its collection, increasing the speculation for a worldwide launch later this year.

The frames, designed to work specifically with Google Glass, come in four different styles and three shades, costing $225 each, while the sunglasses, available in Classic and Edge-style frames, cost $150.

These prices are on top of the standard $1,500 cost for existing Google Glass wearers, which brings the total cost to $1,724.

Users can take the frames to any vision care provider for prescription lenses, which could set them back more money.

4. Other features


Other tech specs, which Google revealed in April 2013, include a bone conduction transducer that provides audio, a 5-megapixel camera with 720p video capture and 16GB of flash memory.

It also supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and has a ‘Listen’ and ‘Capture’ button, a touch-sensitive area, and a USB port for charging.

The display has a 640X360 pixel resolution, which Google claims provides the equivalent to that of a 25-inch HD display when viewed from eight feet away.

Google’s Glass Explorer community also released an etiquette guide of nine do’s and don’ts for using its device, which advises Glasss owners to be respectful and polite while wearing them.

For more information on putting Glass to use, check out CBR’s five real-life examples of Google Glass in action.


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