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Google invites developers to play with Project Glass hardware

Google has promised to provide developers with an early look at Project Glass, the much-anticipated wearable computing system, in order to build up a software ecosystem of new and novel applications.

Based around the same technology as its Android smartphones and tablets, Google Glass was first unveiled in April as a prototype wearable computing device that projects a small, discrete image into one eye of the wearer while providing gesture-based control from a Bluetooth-connected wrist sensor. While original estimates of the device costing around the same as a mid- to high-end smartphone - Google's research and development department originally claimed the unit would retail for around $250 to $600 (around £157 to £377 excluding tax) - that target has been missed with early adopters being charged $1,500 (around £940) for the privilege - something that may change when the technology reaches consumers.

A top-ten wishlist for the technology suggested other uses including augmented reality gaming, at-a-glance technical documentation and memory-jogging 'name badges' for people you've forgotten.

The system isn't without its competitors, however: Oakley is working on a version of its own, while Vuzix already sells a range of Glass-like devices. Even Motorola is getting in on the act - although with a ruggedised version which is aimed more at the military than the consumer.

All this hardware is no good without the software to drive it, however, and that's what's behind Google's developer days: the advertising giant has announced it will be holding 'Glass Foundry' days in San Francisco and New York that will see developers given access to the hardware and the underlying software interfaces in order to develop applications that can take advantage of the wearable computer system.

The San Francisco event will be taking place between the 28th and 29th of January, and the New York event from the 1st to the 2nd of February. Both events, sadly, are available only to a limited number of registered developers.

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