On the Call: Google CEO Larry Page
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — Google has started to hand out one of the technology industry's most anticipated new products — a pair of Internet-connected glasses that performs many of the same functions as a smartphone. The device, called Google Glass, is currently distributed to an undisclosed number of programmers who paid $1,500 apiece for a test version of the spectacles. An additional 8,000 U.S. residents picked in a Google contest will also receive a pair during the next few weeks, if they are willing to pay the price.
The device is expected to be sold to the mass market at a lower price next year.
If Glass works like Google Inc. envisions, people will be able to take pictures, record video and conduct Internet searches with voice commands and finger swipes along the side of the frame. A small screen perched on one of the frames will display content and other information, allowing users to still see the physical world in their field of vision.
During a conference call Thursday about the company's first-quarter earnings, Google CEO Larry Page told analysts he believes many people will find Glass to be even more convenient to use than smartphones. "I get chills when I use a product that is the future and that happens when I use Glass," Page said. "Someday, we'll all be amazed that computing involved fishing around in pockets and purses."
Later on the call, an analyst asked Page to share more of his vision for Glass.
QUESTION: We had a chance to try out Glass a few weeks ago, and we think you guys really nailed it so congrats to the team. Can you talk about the overall strategy with Glass? How you plan to build out the ecosystem for third party developers? What do you see as the biggest functions that Glass could address for users and then do you expect the $1,500 price tag to come down to a level that's more mainstream or is this likely to remain a higher end, luxury device?
ANSWER: I'm glad you're excited about Glass. I am too. I would say it is early days on the project. We're just handing over small numbers so far.
I think that, you know, we're probably pretty good at third party ecosystems, with our experience on Android and a bunch of other areas. So, I'm not too worried about that. There's been lots of speculation on that. I would just say it's all early.
And I think the price tag was set for developers for an early test. We don't have any news to announce there, but that is clearly ... I am not sure I I'd call it a luxury price but certainly a pretty high price.
I think that what I like doing with my Glass ... I really find the photo taking, the video, phone calling, click messaging, directions, all to be pretty amazing experience and that's one of the core functionality we built into the device. We're excited to really get it out to some developers and have other people, you know, create some amazing experiences with it, which we haven't thought of yet. But like I said, it's still early days but I think it's very exciting.