Google opens Glass sales in the UK, for £1,000 a pop

The unit recognizes U.K. accents and the metric system, Google said

Google appears to be preparing many more features for Google Glass ahead of an eventual public launch.

Google appears to be preparing many more features for Google Glass ahead of an eventual public launch.

Google Glass is now available to any adult living in the U.K., as the company eyes international expansion of its head mounted computer system.

Google said Monday that it was opening the beta "Explorer" edition of Glass to any U.K. resident over age 18, at a price of £1,000. At current exchange rates, that's roughly US$1,700 -- $200 more than the device's price in the U.S.

Google didn't say where that extra $200 was going. But the unit does have some new features aimed at U.K. residents. It can recognize their accents, as well as the metric system, so metrics like Fahrenheit are changed to Celsius, the company said. Google also said it was working with U.K. developers to provide locally relevant software for the system. That could come in the form of specialized mapping apps.

Google said it has received many questions around Glass' availability outside the U.S. "We're starting out by dipping our toes across the pond," the company said.

Later this week the company is hosting a demo day in London for people interested in trying out Glass.

Google is intent on making Glass a useful device for gaining access to contextually relevant information, but that hasn't stopped others from poking fun at it.

A number of popular apps like Facebook, Twitter, Gmail and breaking news from CNN are already available for Glass.

This week Google is hosting its annual I/O developers conference in San Francisco, during which the company will lead sessions on how to build new types of software for Glass.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

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