If you’ve ruled out purchasing Google Glass because of its hefty price, you may want to think again. A new report suggests that Google’s head-mounted Android computer may only cost $300 when it hits the mainstream market, which is a far cry from the $1,500 Explorer Edition available for developers.
After examining the price of components within Google Glass, Taiwanese researcher Jason Tsai of Topology Research Institute Taiwan says the device may cost $299 when it becomes publicly available. For instance, Tsai tells the China Post that the device’s display component costs between $30 and $35 and will account for the largest share of the total cost. This piece is likely to be supplied by the Taiwan-based Himax Display Inc., since Google announced that it had agreed to purchase a 6.3 percent stake in the company last month.
Topology predicts that the value of wearable devices around the world will skyrocket within the next five years. Specifically, the global value of these gadgets is projected to jump from $1.2 billion to $18.3 billion in 2018. Furthermore, IHS also predicts that shipments of head-mounted displays could increase by 150 percent to 124,000 units this year, which can largely be attributed to developer sales.
Google hasn’t announced an official release date for Google Glass just yet, but the device is expected to launch to consumers in 2014. The Android-powered eyewear comes with a 5-megapixel camera capable of recording video in 720p and contains 12GB of onboard memory that syncs with the cloud. It supports Bluetooth and 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, and uses bone conduction technology to produce sound rather than speakers. Google hasn’t disclosed the resolution of its heads-up display, but it has recommended that apps be developed at 640 x 360 pixels.
Since Google Glass was announced last year, a slew of competitors have introduced heads-up Android displays to the wearable tech space. Vuzix’s M100 headset, for example, sports many of the same specs as Google Glass but is still in development.