Google Inc’s eyeglass-shaped mobile computing device will likely be priced at an affordable level when it officially goes on sale, a researcher at the Topology Research Institute (拓墣產業研究所) said on Wednesday.
The Google Glass is expected to carry an initial price tag of US$299, Topology researcher Jason Tsai (蔡卓卲) said on the sidelines of a seminar on wearable devices.
The device can record video, access e-mails and messages and surf the Internet.
It is equipped with a camera capable of taking 5-megapixel pictures or recording 720p video, as well as a 12-gigabyte usable memory and Wi-Fi connectivity, Google said.
The device’s display component, which will probably be supplied by Taiwan-based Himax Display Inc (立景光電), will cost between US$30 and US$35 and will account for the biggest share of the total cost in the near term, Tsai said.
Google announced on July 22 that it had agreed to buy a 6.3 percent stake in Himax Display, which produces liquid crystal on silicon (LCOS) chips and modules used in devices such as the Google Glass, head-up displays and handheld projectors.
“We believe wearable devices will see their first wave of growth in the coming one to three years due to their innovative features, and will then experience rapid growth when the market becomes more mature,” Tsai said.
According to Topology’s projections, the global output value of wearable devices will grow from US$1.2 billion in 2011 to US$18.3 billion in 2018.
Research firm IHS Inc forecast that shipments of smart glasses might increase by 150 percent to 124,000 units this year, driven mostly by sales to developers.
The global market for smart glasses could amount to almost 10 million units from last year to 2016.