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Google Glass Available For Consumer Purchase in 2014

Consumers hoping to buy a set of Google’s Glass networked spectacles will have to wait until 2014, according to Google chairman Eric Schmidt.

The first wave of Explorer Edition Glass headsets, began shipping to developers this week, but for those who missed out on the hardware’s initial run, it looks like patience will be a virtue.

In an interview with the BBC this weekend, Schmidt said Google will probably be making some changes to the Explorer Edition before a final consumer release goes ahead in early 2014.

“Well, the developers are beginning now. It would be fair to say that there will be thousands of these in use by developers over the next months and based on their feedback, we’ll make some product changes and it’s probably a year-ish away,” he said.

The timeframe leaves some wiggle room on the final release date, but it suggests a generally-available version of the product will not be ready for consumers by the end of 2013, as Google had previously indicated.

Indeed, it appears to be closer to the timeframe Google co-founder Sergey Brin set when he first demonstrated Glass being used to capture a skydive in June 2012. At the time, Brin said he hoped to release the Explorer Edition in early 2013 and have a broad consumer offering available within a year from that point.

Schmidt did not discuss price for any general-release edition of Glass, although it’s likely to cost less than the $1500 price tag on the Explorer Edition.

Google reportedly assembled the Explorer Edition at a Foxconn factory in California and, besides developers, it has only made Glass available to 8,000 competition winners in the U.S. However, it’s not clear whether production will remain in the U.S. in the longer term. Google was aiming for a consumer price range of $200 to $600, according to the New York Times, meaning a move to a lower-cost production center is likely.

Asked about privacy implications of wearable technology, Schmidt said society will need to develop a new social etiquette to accommodate it, similar to the way it has set rules for the appropriate usage of smartphone…

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