During a 13-minute radio interview on Monday, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said that Google Glass won't go on sale until "approximately one year's time". That shoots down all talk that had the AR specs launching by the end of the year, or even in 1Q14. But Google looks to be taking more time to fine-tune Glass based on feedback from the Explorer crowd, and perhaps could be even waiting for component prices to drop so the final price point is more reasonable.
"The developers are beginning now," he said when asked when Glass will hit the market. "It will be fair to say that there will be thousands of these in use by developers over the next few months. And then based on their feedback, we'll make some product changes, and it's probably a year-ish away."
That's definitely a cold shower for consumers who planned to sink $1500 into the wearable tech by the holiday season. But he also pointed out the impact Glass will likely make given that it has a built-in camera. Society will need to develop a new "social etiquette", he said, to address privacy concerns. This may be why Glass has been delayed as well: to slowly introduce the technology over the next year through the Explorer program and developers testing the hardware.
"It's obviously not appropriate to wear these glasses in situations where recording is not correct," he said. "And indeed, you have this problem already with phones. Companies like Google have a very important responsibility to keep your information safe, but you have a responsibility as well, which is to understand what you're doing, how you're doing it, and behave appropriately and also keep everything up-to-date."
His talk about Google Glass began just over four minutes into the interview. He said that Google just started distributing the specs to the first developers.
"At the moment what you do is wear it – it's on your upper right-hand right above your eye," he described. "And look up, and you can see what looks to you like a computer screen. And on that computer screen you can for example do photographs, you can do movies, and this thing has a camera as well. To me the most interesting thing is the fact that you talk to it. So you say, 'Google Glass', and you ask it a question. And it answers, and then you look."
There are a tremendous numbers of applications that can take advantage of this technology, he said, including Augmented Reality. "You see what's going on in real time, and then we annotate that. We say 'that's this building' or 'this is something you already done' and those sorts of things," he added.
Once the conversation about Google Glass and privacy wrapped up, the show quickly began talking about Google's problems with Street View including the fines Google faced in the United States and the current investigation in Europe. He acknowledged these issues, but said they were actions of a single individual and were not authorized by the executives.
To listen to the entire radio interview, head here.