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Google Glass prototypes ready to ship, specs revealed

Those who stumped up the $1,500 required to pre-order a developer edition of Google Glass won’t have to wait much longer to get their hands on a unit, as Google is now ready to begin shipping out the first units. Production is still ongoing for the expensive Explorer Edition of the wearable unit, but Google emailed early adopters to let them know that initial units are ready to go. Not only that, but the company has posted a wealth of resources for developers to dive into, as well as the tech specs of Glass itself.

9to5Google spotted the relevant specs on Google’s official site, which really aren’t too far removed from smartphones of the past. The camera is capable of taking five megapixel still images as well as 720p video. Onboard storage is rated at 16GB, with around 12GB actually usable, and radios include Bluetooth and Wi-Fi b/g. Interestingly, audio from Glass will be delivered through bone conduction rather than a dedicated speaker.

The official specs don’t list the resolution of the display, but other documentation suggests that it may be 640×360. Google notes that the “high resolution display” would be similar to viewing a “25 inch high definition screen from eight feet away.” Naturally, Glass will also be adjustable to accommodate heads of all different shapes and sizes, and there will be extra nosepads in different sizes.

As for the all important spec, battery life? Google says that developers will be able to get “one day of typical use.” If users constantly use the camera or talk to others using Google Hangouts, then the battery will drain far quicker than normal. Glass will charge using a standard microUSB cable, and a “MyGlass” application will be made available for Android that will enable GPS and SMS functionality over Bluetooth.

The Explorer edition of Glass may be shipping now, but regular consumers will have to wait until the end of the year before seeing a more affordable version of the technology. There’s still no word on exactly what retail versions may cost, but Google has indicated in the past that it be “around the current cost of smartphones.”

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