Google to Ship Early Glass Edition This Month

Reports are circulating that Google is very close to shipping its promised 'Explorer Edition' of Glass to developers and testers.

Google reportedly is putting Glass, its line of wearable computers, in the hands -- or, more aptly, on the faces -- of explorers and developers this month.

[ What Will you Actually See Through Google Glasses? ]

The Glass Explorer Edition, aimed at early testers and developers, will ship in the next few weeks, according to ABCnews.com.

"This month, Google hopes to ship Glass Explorer Edition, designed for the first people to examine the potential uses of Glass," a Google spokesperson reportedly told ABC News. "Developers can tinker with Glass and consumers can try it out in the real world."

Google has not responded to a request for comment.

Yesterday the company announced that its venture arm, Google Ventures, is partnering with venture capitalist firms Andreessen Horowitz and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers to form a project called the Glass Collective. The Collective will provide seed funding to developers and startup firms looking to build applications for Glass.

"Smart entrepreneurs and engineers are going to develop amazing experiences through Glass," wrote Bill Maris, managing partner with Google Ventures, in a blog post. "If you've been mulling over a brilliant idea for Glass, let us know."

Google has said in the past that any developer wanting to get her hands on Glass will have to pay $1,500 for a pair.

It's the same deal for the thousands who applied to become Glass Explorers by going on Google+ or Twitter to say what they'd do if they had a pair of the computerized glasses. In the #ifihadglass project, Google picked upwards of 8,000 people to be the first to try out his or her own pair.

But the opportunity doesn't come for free.

Each explorer will have to pay $1,500 for the pair, along with their travel expenses to one of three locations -- New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles -- to pick them up at a special event.

Google Glass, with a transparent display over the right lens, are designed to enable users to take photos, shoot video, search the Web, send email and share images and info across social networks. Glass can be controlled by voice, touch and gesture.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her email address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

See more by Sharon Gaudin on Computerworld.com.

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This story, "Google to Ship Early Glass Edition This Month" was originally published by Computerworld.

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