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Google Glass Now on Sale in UK

Tim Maytom

Google Glass  Alex testsGoogle has released its Glass prototype kit in the UK, making it the second country after the US to gain access to the company's Android-powered eyewear.

Google first announced the Glass in April 2012 and it was originally only available to US-based developers, but was put on general release in the US in May, with a price tag of $1,500 (£881). The device is still a prototype, and the UK release is again targeting developers over general consumers. UK users will have to pay £1,000 for the Glass, which has already undergone five hardware revisions and 12 software updates.

The company has marked the UK launch with the release of a video showing people exploring the Glass' various functions in spots around the UK. However, questions are already being raised by various authorities and companies about how the Glass will be treated in the UK.

A report by the BBC revealed that the Department of Transport, which has previously raised concerns over whether the wearable technology would prove too distracting to be used by drivers, has held talks with Google ahead of the launch.

"Drivers must give their full attention to the road, which is why it has been illegal since the 1980s to view a screen whilst driving, unless that screen is displaying driving information," said a government spokesman.

"There are no plans to change this and we have met with Google to discuss the implications of the current law for Google Glass. Google is anxious its products do not pose a road safety risk and is currently considering options to allow the technology to be used in accordance with the law."

The BBC surveyed a number of other organisations about their concerns over Glass' ability to film video and take photographs, with Vue Cinemas saying guests would be asked to remove the hardware "as soon as the lights dim before a screening", and various companies, from gyms to coffee shops, saying that while they were happy for customers to wear the device, they would either be politely asked not to capture images, or entirely forbidden from doing so.

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