Google picks 8,000 to test internet-connected glasses

Google has picked 8,000 people in the US who will have a chance to wear the company’s new Internet-connected glasses, which are being described as the next breakthrough in mobile computing. The winners will have to pay $1500 apiece if they want a test version of the product, called “Google Glass”. They also will have to travel to New York, Los Angeles or the San Francisco Bay area to pick up the device, which isn’t expected to be available on the mass market until late this year or early next year. The excitement stems from the belief that Google Glass is at the forefront of a new wave of technology known as “wearable computing”.

Google, Apple and several other companies also are working on Internet-connected wrist watches, according to published reports that have cited anonymous people familiar with the projects. The engineers who have been building Google Glass tout the technology as a way to keep people connected to their email, online social networks and other crucial information without having to frequently gaze down at the small screen on a smartphone. The hidden camera is designed to make it easy for people to take handsfree photos or video of whatever they are doing. Privacy watchdogs, though, are already worried that Google Glass will make it even more difficult to know when they are on camera.

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