You could call it supershades, smart glasses, or every geek’s dream. But however you classify Glass, you have to admit, it’s pretty awesome. And sooner than expected, interested consumers will be able to sport their hi-tech headgear, and share their live, first person experiences with the world. Product director of Google Glass, Steve Lee revealed to The Verge, Google’s plan to have the product available for purchase by the end of this year. The price is promised to be under $1500 at release.
Glass creates a new way to connect life with your social networks
Most of you may try to share important or exciting aspects of your life on your social networks. When you take pictures or even videos of vacations or outings, you might eventually download them, way after the event is over. But, your attempt usually doesn’t fully portray your experience when you must always stop what you are doing and dig out your device to take a picture.
Glass is a refreshingly original idea that layers augmented reality with real life. It allows user to simply talk to the glasses to share live videos and photos, interact with social networks, utilize location based GPS, and access the vast amount of Google’s knowledge, all while keeping your hands and eyes trained on your projects and activities.
The wearable computer is compatible with your Android or iPhone and will be available in multiple colors. Also, Google may have plans to create other designs of the headwear, according to a patent of Glass that went public this week.
Who can get one early?
Pre-orders for the Glass Explorer’s Edition were available to developers during their conference last year, and they are expecting to receive their device early this year.
Don’t want to wait until the end of the year? Selective pre-orders are available for those who are will work for it. It will cost you $1500and a description of what you will do with your glass. For more information, check out Glass
Will you start saving now?
The Apple iWatch will not leave iOS users wanting. A new rumor suggests that the Cupertino-based company is hard at work on developing its first generation watch with a full version of its popular mobile device platform.
In the new report it is suggested that Apple is planning to launch the new watch by the end of the year, but only if Apple can tackle the battery problem.
A source tells The Verge that the watch currently gets about two days on a single charge and Apple is shooting for a four to five day charge window. That time frame would make sense since the Pebble, the iWatch’s most likely competitor, currently lasts that long on a single charge.
Moving towards iOS instead of a scaled down OS version as the company did with its Nano product actually makes a lot of sense. First, users will have better cross-platform compatibility and second the company will only have one base-line of code to work with, thus improvements will be streamlined and arrive faster for all of Apple’s mobile OS-based devices.
There is the very real possibility that Apple may release the Apple iWatch, examine user reactions to a full iOS and then modify the OS to better meet the real-world needs of users.
The biggest challenge for Apple will likely be determining how to make wearable tech as fluid to use as possible. The entire point of wearable technology is that it integrated without hassle, allowing users to go about their day while always staying connected in simple yet effective ways.
If Apple can find a simple yet effective way to share information between the watch and other Apple devices it could have a winner on its hands. If the company’s flexible screen design is any indication of its ingenuity for the watch we could see the company’s next biggest hit.
Are you ready to strap on an Apple iWatch and go about your day?
Instagram has backed down, as we report in thisCNET article posted a few minutes ago. Instagram says it will “remove” the language that caused a user revolt over the last day.
Instagram said today that it has the perpetual right to sell users’ photographs without payment or notification, a dramatic policy shift that quickly sparked a public outcry.
The new intellectual property policy, which takes effect on January 16, comes three months after Facebook completed its acquisition of the popular photo-sharing site. Unless Instagram users delete their accounts before the January deadline, they cannot opt out.
Under the new policy, Facebook claims the perpetual right to license all public Instagram photos to companies or any other organization, including for advertising purposes, which would effectively transform the Web site into the world’s largest stock photo agency. One irked Twitter userquipped that “Instagram is now the new iStockPhoto, except they won’t have to pay youanything to use your images.”
“It’s asking people to agree to unspecified future commercial use of their photos,” says Kurt Opsahl, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “That makes it challenging for someone to give informed consent to that deal.”
That means that a hotel in Hawaii, for instance, could write a check to Facebook to license photos taken at its resort and use them on its Web site, in TV ads, in glossy brochures, and so on — without paying any money to the Instagram user who took the photo. The language would include not only photos of picturesque sunsets on Waikiki, but also images of young children frolicking on the beach, a result that parents might not expect, and which could trigger state privacy laws.
Facebook did not respond to repeated queries from CNET this afternoon. We’ll update the article if we receive a response.
Another policy pitfall: If Instagram users continue to upload photos after January 16, 2013, and subsequently delete their account after the deadline, they may have granted Facebook an irrevocable right to sell those images in perpetuity. There’s no obvious language that says deleting an account terminates Facebook’s rights, EFF’s Opsahl said.
Google’s policy, by contrast, is far narrower and does not permit the company to sell photographs uploaded through Picasa or Google+. Its policy generally tracks the soon-to-be-replaced Instagram policy by saying: “The rights you grant in this license are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting, and improving our services.” Yahoo’s policies service for Flickr are similar, saying the company can use the images “solely for the purpose for which such content was submitted or made available.”
Reginald Braithwaite, an author and software developer, posted a tongue-in-cheek “translation” of the new Instagram policy today: “You are not our customers, you are the cattle we drive to market and auction off to the highest bidder. Enjoy your feed and keep producing the milk.”
One Instagram user dubbed the policy change “Instagram’s suicide note.” The PopPhoto.com photography site summarized the situation by saying: “The service itself is still a fun one, but that’s a lot of red marks that have shown up over the past couple weeks. Many shooters — even the casual ones — probably aren’t that excited to have a giant corporation out there selling their photos without being paid or even notified about it.”
Another unusual addition to Instagram’s new policy appears to immunize it from liability, such as class action lawsuits, if it makes supposedly private photos public. The language stresses, twice in the same paragraph, that “we will not be liable for any use or disclosure of content” and “Instagram will not be liable for any use or disclosure of any content you provide.”
Yet another addition says “you acknowledge that we may not always identify paid services, sponsored content, or commercial communications as such.” That appears to conflict with the Federal Trade Commission’sguidelines that say advertisements should be listed as advertisements.
Such sweeping intellectual property language has been invoked before: In 1999, Yahoo claimedall rights to Geocities using language strikingly similar to Facebook’s wording today, including the “non-exclusive and fully sublicensable right” to do what it wanted with its users’ text and photos. But in the face of widespread protest — and competitors advertising that their own products were free from such Draconian terms — Yahoo backed down about a week later.
It’s true, of course, that Facebook may not intend to monetize the photos taken by Instagram users, and that lawyers often draft overly broad language to permit future business opportunities that may never arise. But on the other hand, there’s no obvious language that would prohibit Facebook from taking those steps, and the company’s silence in the face of questions today hasn’t helped.
EFF’s Opsahl says the new policy runs afoul of his group’s voluntary best practices for social networks. He added: “Hopefully at some point we’ll get greater clarity from Facebook and Instagram.”