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Initial Google Glass Units Will Be Built in the USA

By - Source: 9to5 Google | B 22 comments

Google wants to set an example for other American businesses. Go Google go!

Now that the Google Glass contest has come to a close, the company has roughly 8,000 orders to fill. Sources close to the project claim that Google has partnered with Foxconn (Hon Hai Precision Industry) to assemble the first wave of headsets in Santa Clara, California rather than overseas. Google will reportedly source most of the components from Asia, but the final assembly will be in the United States.

According to unnamed sources, Google plans to assemble a few thousand Glass units in the California factory within the coming weeks. Google supposedly wants to be closely involved in the production process -- to have better control over the "complex" and "small-scale" operation. This "hands on" approach will even allow Google to make last minute fixes for personal customization.

Sources also claim that Google wants to become a "high-profile example" by bringing manufacturing jobs back to the United States. That's admirable, given that so many American companies are tossing jobs overseas due to cheaper labor. However, there's no indication that Google plans to resume U.S.-based assembly after the initial Glass run in California.

The last product Google assembled in the United States was the Nexus Q, an orb-shaped media streaming entertainment device running Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich." It was originally introduced in June 2012, but it was removed from Google Play and taken back to the drawing board in October due to numerous complaints over its design and overblown price tag.

Just this week, Google announced that it is now sending out notices to winners of its Google Glass competition. Potential users of the "Explorer" version were required to send in a description of how the specs would be used. A hefty 8,000 winners were chosen who, in turn, must go to New York, Los Angeles or San Francisco and purchase the specs for $1,500.

Glass isn't due to go retail until 4Q13 or 1Q14.

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  • -6 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , March 29, 2013 12:38 PM
    otacon72So you "won" the right to spend $1,500 on these things?..lmao. When they are $199 get back to me. "first wave"...big deal. After those 8,000 they will be made in China.


    They will never be $199. Guess you're not getting one at all then. Come on, even an SGS2 is more than $250 and this thing is way more advanced from what I gather.
  • 2 Hide
    childofthekorn , March 29, 2013 12:49 PM
    otacon72So you "won" the right to spend $1,500 on these things?..lmao. When they are $199 get back to me. "first wave"...big deal. After those 8,000 they will be made in China.


    This. I typically have respect for google for many of their efforts. But once it was considered Emasculating to have a cell phone, yet manly to wear the glasses...wow. Wonder where all their chromebooks are built?
  • 4 Hide
    velocityg4 , March 29, 2013 1:14 PM
    amk-aka-PhantomThey will never be $199. Guess you're not getting one at all then. Come on, even an SGS2 is more than $250 and this thing is way more advanced from what I gather.

    I'll bet when 40" flats screen HDTVs were over $10,000 you said they would never hit $300, they have. There are no mineral resources in these glasses to make them worth more than a few dollars. It's just a matter of getting production costs down.

    If these do well in a few years they'll be dirt cheap as millions of units get cranked out and tons of manufacturers are competing over them. That's assuming they do that well. I think a lot of people will not like wearing these.

    A lot of people may not like these things at all. You could potentially get a big push to outlaw these in public, businesses banning them on their premises, &c. Since you don't know who could be recording you and what they are doing with that data. At least with smartphones it is pretty obvious when someone is pointing the camera at you.
  • -5 Hide
    dalethepcman , March 29, 2013 1:35 PM
    otacon72So you "won" the right to spend $1,500 on these things?..lmao. When they are $199 get back to me. "first wave"...big deal. After those 8,000 they will be made in China.


    Considering that a regular pair of glasses can easily exceed $500, and iphones are up to $850, I don't see $1500 being too much of a stretch for this device.
  • -4 Hide
    halcyon , March 29, 2013 1:55 PM
    As far as them being banned because of the camera I'd not be surprised if a way is created to somehow disable the camera within some given radius. ...basically, if the glasses pick up a certain signal the camera is disabled. Google may even help do this to increase acceptance.

    You may scoff at the idea but when it happens remember we told you so.
  • 2 Hide
    whiteodian , March 29, 2013 2:02 PM
    halcyonAs far as them being banned because of the camera I'd not be surprised if a way is created to somehow disable the camera within some given radius. ...basically, if the glasses pick up a certain signal the camera is disabled. Google may even help do this to increase acceptance. You may scoff at the idea but when it happens remember we told you so.
    Root it and disable the feature that turns off the camera :D 
  • -3 Hide
    dimar , March 29, 2013 2:03 PM
    Google Glass should be a requirement for every politician.
  • 1 Hide
    abbadon_34 , March 29, 2013 2:22 PM
    Unless they go get banned and go the way of the Segway (remember that "revolution"?)
    $1,500 made in the USA, next year $500 made in china, the following year $200 generic chinese iglasses
    Probably wrong on time, but we've all seen it happen
  • 0 Hide
    halcyon , March 29, 2013 2:54 PM
    whiteodianRoot it and disable the feature that turns off the camera

    Have these been rooted already.
  • 0 Hide
    ender2003 , March 29, 2013 3:15 PM
    let's issue these to cops instead of gun cams or dash cams. Then you truly see everything from their perspective.

    Oh wait, then some of them would be held accountable for their actions. Ban the glasses!
  • 2 Hide
    ericburnby , March 29, 2013 4:22 PM
    8,000 dorks ordered these. Or 8,000 stalkers/creeps.
  • 0 Hide
    nforce4max , March 29, 2013 4:27 PM
    childofthekornThis. I typically have respect for google for many of their efforts. But once it was considered Emasculating to have a cell phone, yet manly to wear the glasses...wow. Wonder where all their chromebooks are built?


    I don't like their Chromebooks and would rather settle with an nearly decade old pentium m era laptop before ever buying one. Their "toys" are just that toys unless there is some legit use for them. OH well there are other things worth my money :) 
  • 1 Hide
    JonnyDough , March 29, 2013 5:25 PM
    Another unneeded tech item. Why not devote your money towards better quality living instead of gadgetry?
    dimarGoogle Glass should be a requirement for every politician.


    Ignorance is bliss. Personally, I don't want to know some of the stuff they do or see. :p 
  • -1 Hide
    ipwn3r456 , March 29, 2013 6:31 PM
    otacon72So you "won" the right to spend $1,500 on these things?..lmao. When they are $199 get back to me. "first wave"...big deal. After those 8,000 they will be made in China.


    $199? That's barely the price of prescription glasses. You want one that cheap? Maybe 50 years later.
  • -3 Hide
    dalethepcman , March 29, 2013 7:03 PM
    otacon72Um where exactly are you buying your glasses?..lol If you pay full price for a cell phone you're an idiot.
    If you buy a "subsidized" cell phone, you pay much much more than if you buy direct. Also you end up with a carrier locked version instead of an unlocked version.

    A 64GB iphone 5 costs $850, cellular service costs $45/month (x24=1080) for unlimited everything on pre-pay.

    A subsidized 64GB iphone 5 costs $399 (save 450), Cellular service costs 120/month (x24=2880, lose 1800) for 2GB of data, and unlimited everything else.

    Net loss of $1350 over a 2 year period Vs buying outright.

    As to where I buy my glasses. I go to an Optometrist, not Wal-mart / Costco. I am willing to pay for both customer service, and for locally owned.
  • -1 Hide
    soundping , March 30, 2013 1:17 AM
    It's a phone with a wearable display and camera. I'm not seeing a game changer here.
  • 0 Hide
    Fulgurant , March 30, 2013 2:46 PM
    dalethepcmanConsidering that a regular pair of glasses can easily exceed $500, and iphones are up to $850, I don't see $1500 being too much of a stretch for this device.

    Wait. Google Glass has corrective lenses?
  • 0 Hide
    Fulgurant , March 30, 2013 2:52 PM
    dalethepcmanIf you buy a "subsidized" cell phone, you pay much much more than if you buy direct. Also you end up with a carrier locked version instead of an unlocked version.A 64GB iphone 5 costs $850, cellular service costs $45/month (x24=1080) for unlimited everything on pre-pay.A subsidized 64GB iphone 5 costs $399 (save 450), Cellular service costs 120/month (x24=2880, lose 1800) for 2GB of data, and unlimited everything else.Net loss of $1350 over a 2 year period Vs buying outright.

    All of that is probably true. But part of the reason the iPhone is still $850 is precisely because the cost of the item is largely opaque to the consumer. As VelocityG pointed out earlier, HD televisions crashed in price over a matter of years as production costs diminished, and as market demand placed downward pressure on vendor pricing.

    If there were no option to pick up a putatively "free" iPhone as part of your cell-phone-service contract, then many fewer people would consent to buy an iPhone, and Apple would likely lower the price. So while you're scoffing at all the lemmings who get soaked in the long term by bundling the cost of their phone with their contract, keep in mind that you're indirectly getting soaked too.
  • 0 Hide
    hella-d , March 30, 2013 4:28 PM
    Im glad to hear that SOMETHING will be made in the united states but google-glass sounds like a redicolous idea. makes me fear the future a bit when we cant make good USEFULL stuff in the US but dumb stuff like google-glass... REALLY? After all we invented or improved 90% of tech we have today.
  • 0 Hide
    RobAC , March 31, 2013 8:54 AM
    I look forward to videos of people tripping, falling & walking into things while wearing these glasses.

    Not being mean, I just think it will be hilarious.
    (As long as there are no serious injuries of course.)
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