AUSTIN -- Google chose about 10,000 people who each plunked down $1,500 to test Google Glass, a computer worn like a pair of glasses. Teachers, dentists, doctors, architects, and athletes are among the lucky few, and so is an Austin app designer.
Q Manning runs Rocksauce Studios. So far he likes what he sees from behind the glass.
"The big benefit of it is that it can seamlessly tie into what you're doing on a day-to-day basis," said Manning.
That includes taking pictures and video, giving directions, talking on the phone, and of course Googling.
"You can just do a little swipe and see how hot it is in Austin, or I can look through photos and very easily contact people," said Manning.
Glass also takes texting to a new level as Manning explained. "For things like text messaging, it's been extremely successful, helpful for me. I can just look up in the sky and say, ‘OK Glass’ [and] send a message to whoever is on my list."
Google Glass does have some drawbacks. Testers who spoke to the Associated Press said the battery life wasn't long enough. They also weren't wild about the volume of the speaker which transmits sound with bone conduction technology -- vibrations on your skull.
"One of the downsides would be the inability as of right now to modify that initial menu that you get, because right now all you can do with it are the things Google says you can do," said Manning. "As a writer one of the benefits for me would just be dictation."
Glass is expected to hit the market next year after Google digests all the tester feedback. Google has not said how much a consumer edition would cost but says it will be significantly lower than $1,500.
Glass is also going high fashion. Vogue magazine is featuring the gadget in its fall fashion issue.