Google introduced its new product line Wednesday in spectacular fashion. The company kicked off its 2012 I/O conference, with sky divers and stunt bikers, streaming live video to attendees via its new "Explorer Edition" glasses.
Google also boosted its effort Wednesday to begin its transition from the Internet-search-giant we all know, to an innovative-hardware-maker in its own right. On the first day of the company's three day conference in San Francisco, Google unveiled three new products it hopes will help make them a competitive player in the hardware market.
Explorer Edition is Google's newest prototype version of augmented-reality-glasses the company started testing in April of this year. The venture is called "Project Glass."
The futuristic glasses have a built in camera which allows users to capture video and stream it live over the Internet. They are also fitted with a side mounted heads-up display which allows you to view, (among other things) real-time weather updates and local transit reports.
Company co-founder, Sergey Brin, opened the conference by offering programmers in the audience their first chance to buy a pair of the new glasses.
However, buyers soon found out, the privilege offered did not come cheap. For those developers willing to pay, one pair of the Internet-connected glasses came with a price tag of $1,500.
"This is new technology and we really want you to shape it," said Brin. That's why we want to get it out into the hands of passionate people as soon as possible." The glasses are expected to ship early next year.
Google has also introduced a new product called Nexus 7. As reported in a recent article by Digital Journal, the Nexus 7 is a 7-inch tablet computer which comes in an 8GB version tablet, and a larger 16GB version tablet, both with 1GB of RAM. The tablet also features a 1.2 megapixel camera, microphone, and will run the new Jelly Bean version of Android.
The Nexus 7 carries a modest price tag of $199, which should put the new tablet in direct competition with other tablets such as Amazon’s Kindle Fire.
Nexus Q:The Nexus Q is Google's new music and video streaming device. The Q will allow any user with an Android phone or tablet to send wireless content directly to their television or speakers.
The device is similar to other products such as Apple's TV. However, priced at $299, Google is betting that making the Q more competitive in price, and more social friendly for the user will set the Q apart from the rest.
Google's recent focus on hardware is a major shift for the web browser giant. Until recently, the company has been best known for its Internet based ventures. However, that persona seems to be changing.
Well, at least according to BGC Partners Internet analyst, Colin Gillis.
"Google is a hardware company now," says Gillis. "Hardware is becoming the doorway to products and services. If you’re going to use the Internet, you are going to have to use a device."