Getting a $1,500 tax refund and don't know how to spend it? You're in luck. Google will sell its much-ballyhooed smartglasses, dubbed Google Glass, to the general public for the first time one day only: April 15. There already are mobile commerce apps for the wearable device.
Bill Siwicki , Editor, Mobile
Early adopters take note: Google Inc., the maker of the dominant mobile operating system, Android, will sell its Google Glass smartglasses to the general public for the first time on April 15. And only on April 15. Electronic doors open at 9 a.m. Eastern time, and it's first come/first served, while supplies last. Price tag: $1,500. To date, Google has only sold Google Glass to invited consumers in small campaigns, labeling these people "Glass Explorers."
While some mobile technology experts say wearable devices are the next step in the evolution of the mobile ecosystem, consumers aren't so sure. For example, 72% of U.S. consumers have no intention of buying Google Glass, a new survey from research firm Toluna says. And consumer response to the earliest smartwatches, another type of wearable, has been tepid.
But that hasn't stopped pioneering retailers and developers from jumping into the wearables market straight away. There's Crystal Shopper, a comparison shopping app for Glass. And eBay Inc. debuted last year an app for Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch.
Consumers interested in buying Google Glass can go to Google.com/glass/start/how-to-get-one/ the morning of April 15.
Mobile technology is evolving in other ways, too, some quite different from wearables. Later this year, Volvo Car Group will introduce its new XC90 sport utility vehicle, the first vehicle to run Apple Inc.’s iOS mobile operating system on the vehicle’s large dashboard monitor. That monitor will offer touchscreen and voice command access to the apps on a driver’s iPhone. Apple stresses this enables safe use of phone-based features and functions in a moving vehicle. Drivers will be able to place and answer calls, hear messages, use maps and navigation assistance, listen to streaming music services, and more. The system will only work with the iPhone 5, 5s and 5c running iOS 7, which connect to the vehicle through a built-in cable or, soon, through in-car Wi-Fi.