Google aims to get its Google Glasses augmented reality headset shipping to consumers within a year of the $1,500 Explorer Edition arriving with developers, the company has confirmed. That consumer version will be “significantly” cheaper than the Explorer Edition prototype hardware, Google co-founder and Glass project lead Sergey Brin told TechCrunch, though this won’t be a race to the bottom.
Instead, the team responsible for Glass has said, the priority will be balancing quality and affordability. No indication of what sort of final price will be settled upon has been given, but wearable eyepiece specialists have already – and separately – estimated that augmented reality headsets of Google Glasses’ ilk will most likely come in at around the $200-500 mark.
In the meantime, Google will be counting on developers to get up to speed with Glass. The cloud-based API they will have use of will be “pretty far along” by the time the Explorer Edition goes on sale, and Google’s own engineers are already testing Gmail, Google+ and other Android apps on the wearable.
As for battery life, Brin was overheard suggesting he had seen six hours of use from a charge, though it’s unclear what settings were enabled at that time. It’s already been confirmed that Glass will be able to locally cache content rather than upload it immediately, or indeed stream low-quality footage while caching higher-quality versions for later use.