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With eye on future, Singaporeans seek Glass

THE NEXT BIG THING: That eyewear, worn by the referee of the Euroleague basketball match between FC Barcelona and Laboral Kutxa on Thursday, is Google Glass. And Singaporeans are going gaga over it.


    Apr 16, 2014

    With eye on future, Singaporeans seek Glass

    GOOGLE Glass has got Singaporeans going gaga.

    Several of them are already counting down to the day they can get their hands on the gadget, touted as a wearable computer, even before it is officially here.

    Some are enlisting the help of their friends to get one of the limited pairs of the wearable device that were released only within the United States last night. Some American companies have also offered to ship the device over.

    Prototypes of the gadget would each cost US$1,500 (S$1,880), plus tax.

    Dubbed the Glass Explorer Program, United States developers and a diverse bunch of individuals - who participated in a contest - were first invited to buy the prototype and test it out.

    Google Glass is computerised eyewear that comes in five colours and is worn like a normal pair of spectacles. It allows users to take pictures, record videos, send messages and perform other tasks with touch controls or by speaking commands.

    Last weekend, a coach of Spanish football team Atletico Madrid was spotted using it during a game to get real-time data.

    But there have also been concerns about users irritating others by using it and Google has come out with a list of dos and don'ts on "how not to be a Glasshole".

    Singapore entrepreneur Nityanand Rai has asked a Texan friend to help purchase the gadget and pass it to him when he travels here in three weeks' time.

    "I think Glass takes wearables to a very personal level. It's private and data can be customised. I had to get it." said Mr Rai, who co-founded learning platform Twofold.

    Interactive marketing and technology services agency SapientNitro is also considering buying a number of devices once it is available in Singapore.

    "From our company's standpoint, we plan to test this technology and see how it can redefine the customer's experience," said the company's Asia-Pacific director of technology, Mr Vinay Kant.

    "I think it's the next big revolutionary product and, in five years' time, I can see it in the hands of many people."

    Project manager David Wong, 28, said: "I can't wait to try it out. It will make getting information a lot easier and quicker."

    However, cost is a concern for him. "The price should at least be more comparable to that of the latest smartphones in the market," he said.

    When contacted, Google's spokesman in the Singapore office declined to comment on when it will be made available here.