Google (GOOG +0.7%) has begun offering the first version of Google Glass (provided earlier this year to a limited number of developers/enthusiasts) to certain subscribers of its All Access music subscription service. But for now, the display glasses are still priced at a steep $1,500.
Glass' full commercial launch is expected in early 2014, and will likely be accompanied by a price cut. Ahead of the launch, Google has been busy creating a developer ecosystem, and plenty of businesses have been coming up with use cases. At the same time, concerns about privacy (stemming from Glass' built-in camera) and social discomfort haven't gone away.
Wired's Mat Honan has provided a mixed review of Glass after using it for a year. He notes the product created a lot of social tension - "Again and again, I made people very uncomfortable. That made me very uncomfortable." - and refrained from wearing it in many public settings.
At the same time, Honan is a big fan of Glass' Google Now integration - "[Now's] ambient location awareness, combined with previous Google searches, means extremely relevant notifications come to your attention in a way they just can’t on a smartphone." - and states Glass made him "hate" using his phone due to the social withdrawal it produces.
Honan: "Glass, and the other things like it, won’t always be ugly and awkward ... The future is on its way, and it is going to be on your face."
Glass microdisplay supplier Himax (HIMX +4.7%) is rallying for the second day in a row. Shares have made new highs, and are closing out the year up 519%.