Kiwis finally get a look through Glass

ROSE CAWLEY
Last updated 12:23, April 3 2014
EYES OPEN: Katyanne Topping, 22, is one of the first people in the country to try out Google Glass.
ROSE CAWLEY/Fairfax NZ

EYES OPEN: Katyanne Topping, 22, is one of the first people in the country to try out Google Glass.

The futuristic Google Glass has landed in New Zealand to an excited response from potential punters granted a sneak peek through the high tech products during stage one of a national roadshow unveilled in Auckland this week.

The technology-loaded glasses or sunglasses combine the functions of a computer to do everything a smart phone does and display all of the information in the user's field of vision.

Wearers can google, call, send messages, take pictures, shoot video, and even receive turn-by-turn directions to wherever they're travelling.

The product is responsive to voice commands or can be operated by a button on the top of the frame that activates additional features.

"It feels like a pair of normal glasses," Harsh Gambhir, 25, said. "It is so lightweight. You've really got a camera and much more just in front of your eyes. The voice recognition is very responsive and the scroll function works well. Technology has been changing drastically. Just look at the progression to smart phones. Google Glass is set to be the tool we use.

"I definitely look forward to buying one."

Google has not announced a commercial release date but the product is expected to become available by the end of the year. It has already been distributed to about 10,000 people, in the United States as apart of a market testing programme.

Westpac is hosting the New Zealand roadshow and has integrated its Cash Tank app, which lets users check account balances, into Google Glass

"It is going to be customer driven," spokesman Colin Smith said. "If customers pick up the technology then we will be ready to run with them."

Katyanne Topping, 22, was among Auckland roadshow attendees and said a little bit of work still needs to be done to the device to win her over.

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She said privacy and etiquette were among issues that need to be addressed.

"It's next generation and the next step on from smart phones but it has potential to lead to issues in the future."

Topping, who wears prescription lenses, said the device feels like any other pair of frames.

"It was lighter than I expected but the back part was a bit bulky."

Google has unveiled four frame styles that can also be fitted with prescription lenses.

 - © Fairfax NZ News

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