Besides the Scobelizer spotting Google Glasses on co-founder Sergey Brin (above), we are hearing some additional information about the project. First, the brand was changed from “Project Wingfront,” which was the name of the project in the [x] labs. As it graduated to public knowledge, Google needed a more general-purpose name. I am told this decision was made in the past month.
Additionally, my understanding is that there has been a lot of strife in the Wingfront group over the past few months. Product people complain that they need time to iterate and perfect the experience, while management wants to get these into the outside world as soon as possible. Some strong tensions in the group are getting even more heated as more people are brought in.
The glasses shown off in the video and on the Plus page is only one of many prototypes worn in the [x] labs. I am told that there are clip-on models that attach to normal glasses, as well as ones built into full-fledge sunglasses that I previously detailed (here and here).
But most importantly, when can we buy these things?
I am told Google has a relatively small run already available internally. I asked directly if I would be able to get a set at Google I/O, but my source said that a decision was yet-to-be made. There are over 10,000 attendees at Google I/O, so that would be a significant undertaking.
However, I was told that Google is eager to show these off and hopeful get developers on board, so they will likely make an appearance in June. I am hoping that—if not everyone has access to a pair—Google makes some units available at the show.
As far as a general launch, Google has no firm plans yet. However, a limited holiday launch is not out of the question.
Scoble said of the encounter this evening:
When I first got here I spotted Google co-founder +Sergey Brin. He was wearing THOSE GLASSES!
He quickly told me it is a prototype. I saw a bluish light flashing off of his right eyeball. I could only guess that my Google+ profile flashed up, or maybe some PR voice said “stay quiet” or something like that.
But the glasses are real. Very light looking. Most of the people around us had no idea that these glasses are pretty special.
Update: The Verge talked to Brin who said (about the glasses), “Right now you really just see it reboot.” That is not true, obviously. He also claimed the glasses need to be tested against the RF frequency for safety before Google could distribute them. When asked about getting the glasses into the public’s hands by the end of the year, Brin said, “Give us time.”