Although the exclusive pre-mass production versions of Google Glass
, dubbed the “Explorer Edition
”, have been in the hands of 2,000 lucky early adopters--well, 1,999 of them now
--for about a month
, the average joe consumer can’t buy a pair. In fact, Google
wasn’t going to be producing a consumer version of the specs until at least sometime in 2014, even though there have been earlier rumors indicating that the end of 2013 was the target date
Citing an inside, unnamed Google source, eWeek says that in fact there will most likely be a retail version of Google Glass sometime this year. "Our goal is to launch Glass later this year," says the source.
It’s not clear why Google is shortening its launch timeline. The reasoning could be simply that the company has completed enough research and testing to feel confident about putting Google Glass into production early, or perhaps Google has cut out some features that were originally slated for the device.
It’s also not entirely out of the question that Google sees an onslaught of litigation and legislation headed it way, as individuals
, and lawmakers call into question the many potential privacy issues that Google Glass will bring, and has decided to just get the spectacles into the marketplace before anything happens on that front.
The logic is that once people are wearing the things all over the place, others will get used to them, and most of the anti-Google Glass camps will lose momentum. We’re speculating here, of course, but it wouldn’t be a terrible strategy in any case.