Larry Page's voice might not ooze excitement, but he expressed a lot of enthusiasm for Google's sales force and technology during the blowout first-quarter 2013 earnings call. "This week after three years of development we started to handing over Glass devices developers. I get chills on a user product that is the future and that happens when I use Glass," the Google CEO said.
Page addressed a question about building out an ecosystem for developers around Glass. "It's the early days. We are just handing over small numbers so far. We are probably pretty good at third-party ecosystems, like Android and other areas," Page said with some modesty.
Regarding whether the $1,500 price tag for Glass would come down soon, Page said, "The price tag was set for developers for early test. We don't have news to announce there. I'm not sure I would call it a luxury price, but it's a pretty high price. I like what we are doing with Glass. I find the photo-taking, video, phone calling, quick messaging, directions is a pretty amazing experience."
Google's wearable eyeware is expected to ship to several thousand developers in the coming days. It captures 5-megapixel images and video at a 720p resolution, and has 16GB of Flash storage synced with Google cloud storage, of which 12GB is usable. The headset includes Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, but uses the slower 802.11b/g standards. A MyGlass companion app enables GPS and SMS messaging but works only with Android 4.0.3 or higher.
Page also talked up Google Now, the Android-based intelligent personal assistant that extends search with a natural-language user interface, and Voice Search, but not Google+, the company's social network.
"I'm also excited about our Voice Search momentum. Looking for the nearest pharmacy? Just ask Google for directions, and we will deliver them instantly. No typing needed. You can now have conversational questions, like 'do I need a jacket this weekend?' Voice commands are going to be increasingly important. It's much less hassle to talk than type. This quarter, we launched Chrome Web speech APIs, so developers can now easily add voice recognition into their Web apps," Page said.
While Glass is in its early days and doesn't have an advertising focus, Page believes it will be able to be monetized. "We are not worried about making money. We've been successful with advertising because we view it as another source of information," he said. "We know about making things more efficient, getting information to the right people at the right time."