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Google aims to stay focused

They were always eye-catching, but now it appears Google Glass are poised to go global. Already the internet giant’s revolutionary eyewear is now available to anyone in the US with $1,500 to spare and a yen to become an “explorer”.

The decision to open the “Glass” test to anyone with enough money and curiosity came about a month after a one-day sale of the eyewear to the public. “We learned a lot when we opened our site a few weeks ago, so we’ve decided to move to a more open beta,” said a post on the Glass page at Google+ online social network site.

“We’re still in the Explorer Programme while we continue to improve our hardware and software, but now anyone in the US can buy the Glass Explorer Edition, as long as we have it on hand.”

In a possible sign of interest in the eyewear, the Glass page on the Google+ network has more than 678,000 followers and has been viewed more than 107 million times.

In March, Google joined forces with the trendy frame maker behind Ray-Ban and other high-end brands to create and sell Glass internet-linked eyewear in the US.

The partnership with Luxottica was portrayed as Google’s “biggest step yet into the emerging smart eyewear market”.

Luxottica brands include Oakley, Alain Mikli, Ray-Ban and Vogue-Eyewear. The first smart glasses by Luxottica for Google Glass will go on sale in 2015, the head of the Italian group has revealed.

Google has been working to burnish the image of Glass, which has triggered concerns about privacy since the devices are capable of capturing pictures and video. The company sent out a release to debunk what it claims are myths about Glass such as the ideas that it invades privacy, distracts wearers and is for “technology-worshipping geeks”.

“If someone wants to secretly record you, there are much, much better cameras out there than one you wear conspicuously on your face and that lights up every time you give a voice command, or press a button,” Google said.

“If a company sought to design a secret spy device, they could do a better job than Glass,” the Silicon Valley giant added.

Reporting from AFP

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