Google Glass hardware specs, API details are out

We've know about Google's Project Glass initiative for about a year now. Prototypes have been floating around for a while, and the first wave of Explorer Edition units is ready to ship out to beta testers explorers. Perhaps to celebrate the occasion, Google has released new information on the Glass hardware and its Mirror API.

One of the most intriguing elements of the Glass hardware is the screen, which sits in the corner of one's eye. According to Google, this "high resolution display is the equivalent of a 25 inch high definition screen from eight feet away." That's a fair distance for a screen that size, though it's hard to say how the virtual display will actually look.

Audio is provided via bone conduction, and the built-in camera is capable of taking 5MP stills and 720p video. Wireless options include 802.11g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. There's no word on the silicon powering the device, but 16GB of flash memory lurks in the frame, and 12GB of that is available to the user.

Google expects Glass devices to offer a full day's worth of battery life with "typical use." It notes that features like video recording consume more power, though. You'll probably need to carry the Micro USB charger if you plan on keeping track of every waking moment of your life.

Most of the details on the Mirror API apply only to developers. However, there are a few interesting tidbits for the rest of us, including the revelation that apps will be free. Developers aren't permitted to charge for their applications or collect payments "in connection with virtual goods or functionality." Ads are verboten, as well, and user data can't be funneled to third-party marketing entities or data brokers. One has to wonder how many developers will be keen on creating Glass apps if there's no way to generate revenue from them.

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