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Google checks the specs

Google checks the specs
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Looking for the next big thing in computing, Google says a consumer version of its electronic eyewear will be on sale in less than two years.

The computer in a pair of glasses has a tiny screen mounted on the left side of the frame which can record video, access email and messages, and retrieve information from the Web

Google co-founder Sergey Brin showed off the glasses at Google’s annual developer conference in San Francisco, providing the most in-depth public look at the futuristic technology since Google first announced the project in April.

No price has been announced.

The glasses contain a wireless networking chip and essentially all the other technology found inside a typical smartphone – save for a cellular network radio – Google executives said.

The battery is smaller than a smartphone battery, but Google is working on ways to make the battery charge last for a full day.

Brin said he expects the glasses to be available to consumers less than a year after the developer version is available.

Google is still experimenting with various aspects of the glasses, including potentially providing directions on the screen and the ability to have the glasses speak out text messages, Brin said.

He said, in response to a question, that there are no plans to offer any kind of advertising on the device.

Targeting tablets

Google also unveiled its first tablet to compete with the Kindle Fire and Apple’s iPad. It will be on sale from mid-July for $199 in the US.

The “Nexus 7” tablet, built by and co-branded with Taiwan’s Asus, will feature the new 4.1 ‘Jelly Bean’ version of Google’s software, as well as a front-facing camera, a 1280×800 resolution screen, and an Nvidia Tegra 3 processor.

By taking a greater role in the tablet market, Google hopes to ensure that its various online services remain front-and-centre to consumers amid a changing technology landscape in which tablets by Apple and Amazon are increasingly becoming gateways to the Web and Web-based content such as movies and music.

Google’s maiden entry in the tablet market, which will also see the advent of Microsoft Corp’s Surface this year, could also help accelerate development of tablet-specific applications for its Android operating software — a key factor that has helped popularize Apple’s iPad, analysts say.