Google Glass costs Google just $80 to make, possibly pointing to retail price

Google Glass, Google's revolutionary new head-mounted computer, is likely to usher in a new phase of computing to the world. With slick hardware, integration with all Google's cloud services, a (relatively) good look and a feeling that you are part of the future, very little criticism can be thrown at Glass. Except the price, which is a staggering $1,500 for an "Explorer" headset. But how much does the headset actually cost Google to make? 

The answer, according to Teardown.com (via BetaBeat), is just $80. None of the components that Google includes in Glass cost more than $20 with the battery clocking in at $1.14, the camera costing $5.66 and the actual glass used costing $3.00. The most expensive element of Google Glass is the processor, which Teardown.com estimates to have cost $13.96. Google claims that these estimates are "absolutely wrong" in a statement provided to the Wall Street Journal but failed to provide accurate numbers. For it's part, Teardown.com does acknowledge that this is a preliminary teardown and a deeper cost analysis will be provided soon. 

It is also worth noting that the $1,500 price tag is for the developer-only edition and the high price could be to discourage the general public from buying the headset. Since the component cost is so low, this could be the clearest indication yet of the price Google will charge when Glass retails. If the component cost is around $80, then Google is free to add one or two hundred dollars onto the price, make a nice profit and still have hardware that is reasonably priced.

Source: Teardown.com (via BetaBeat) | Image via Google

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47 Comments

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I am shocked at $80, I was thinking more like $5.

I know they want to get back investment and testing monies, but £1,500 for the specs

is taking the urine.

I'm pretty sure many lawyers are lining up to sue Google for endangering their users health by knowingly and willingly providing a device which can be considered an intrusion of privacy.

Once people start ending up in hospital for beaten up over an alleged recording in a public place Google is the main fish to catch.

paulheu said,
I'm pretty sure many lawyers are lining up to sue Google for endangering their users health by knowingly and willingly providing a device which can be considered an intrusion of privacy.

Once people start ending up in hospital for beaten up over an alleged recording in a public place Google is the main fish to catch.


privacy is a myth... move on

"...let's punish developers by making required test hardware, IDE's, and software publication services awful..."

-Apple and now Google

And according to my brother who used to work there, Wal-Mart only pays $150 for televisions that receive a $600 price tag when put on the store shelves. Actual cost of the product is not necessarily an indicator of how much they'll jack it up to make a profit.

Gerowen said,
And according to my brother who used to work there, Wal-Mart only pays $150 for televisions that receive a $600 price tag when put on the store shelves. Actual cost of the product is not necessarily an indicator of how much they'll jack it up to make a profit.
this would be a unique case that happened 1 time to 1 unique model. all across the industry, TV mark ups are 7%

If this comes out at $300 or under, I'll buy a pair for sure. Augmented reality if done well can be very handy and I'd look forward to using it

So, it's R&D, and salaries, and no one so far seems to have any complains about this high margin. However, why doesn't the same thing apply when it's Apple?

This will be like everything else, high initial startup cost while development costs are recouped, then as the technology improves and the level of competition improves the cost will drop.

At the moment the technology is immature and it's largely another one of those Google experiments. The price is unlikely to remain that high forever.

for those that fear these, wait till "google contact lens's" come out. Then your fear will turn into extreme paranoia and you will all hide since you are scared to be viewed. At least line ups will be shorter for the rest of us who don't really give a damn.

So, it's R&D, and salaries, and no one so far seems to have any complains about this high margin. However, why doesn't the same thing apply when it's Apple?

funny seeing people so scared and upset about this. This tech is coming whether or not google brings it to the forefront. if you are so scared about technology and go back to a pad of paper and a pencil

No ones scared of it, there is just appropriate use and inappropriate use.. Like everything you must use a little common sense and courtesy. and we all know how well humans handle those two things- badly

dingl_ said,
No ones scared of it, there is just appropriate use and inappropriate use.. Like everything you must use a little common sense and courtesy. and we all know how well humans handle those two things- badly

And yet all of the common sense and courtesy concerns revolve around the privacy issues people have with the device, which is the most interesting part.

No matter how you look at it, what makes mobile technology smart, and the leading component of its advancement for the last 20 years, is sensors. Technology is so much about being able to process the world around it at any given time. Which way is up, how fast are you moving, proximity, light levels. At some point, it's going to be about devices being able to see, and like any technology, all it takes for people to accept it is for the application of that technology to be compelling enough.

I greatly enjoy knowing that modern society would genuinely hate androids and AI robots. Here you have a computer that's nothing but a full suite of sensors, processing everything around it while very likely maintaining a network connection whenever possible. If society can't handle Google Glass, how would it ever accept actual androids?

dingl_ said,
No ones scared of it, there is just appropriate use and inappropriate use.. Like everything you must use a little common sense and courtesy. and we all know how well humans handle those two things- badly

Give me a break, if we banned all technology that could be potentially misused we would be back to living in caves.

glen8 said,
Just watch this product bomb

Truth be told there's nothing special about this product. Many fanatics will buy them but overall I see no value vs what people already have as a product.

I liked that joke from yesterdays White House Correspondents' Association Dinner:
"America still has amazing technological innovations. Google Glass has hit the market. Now, just by walking down the street, we'll know exactly who to punch in the face."

I'd imagine there's a large amount of R&D cost to recoup with these, both historical and future, so it's not just about the component cost. But that being said, a margin of over $1,400 seems kind of ridiculous.

With the so far limited release and relatively brand new market it's not unthinkable. But as the article points out they could be artificially reducing the demand through the price to ensure enthusiasts/developers are the ones who end up with the limited supply. Meaning those who actually have Glass are those who can enrich the platform before a mass consumer release.

nah - It'll be free, and google will superimpose ads on the viewfinder and earpiece, based on what you are looking at.

no privacy concerns., "trust them"

A pretty clear statement of reality! It's ok for the government to invade our privacy, but when it actually happens, then we realize what we've lost.

Well said,
Watch out for the following sign on public restroom doors "Warning: Premises under video surveillance." It gives new meaning to "glasshole."

Yap, gonna be some trouble I see someone at a urinal next to me wearing those things prescription or not I will smash them in seconds

or even across from me while enjoying a meal, its just not polite. who knows if they are recording

dingl_ said,
No one likes a glasshole
this is how I imagine most interactions will end up
http://youtu.be/8RqXg6-06a4?t=27s

What I am trying to understand why all these blogs keep insisting

"Google Glass, Google's revolutionary"

There is nothing revolutionary about glass. Truly nothing! There's been eye-ware devices although less fashionable before with the same functions that Google Glass has. Let's get this straight, this if anything is an evolutionary product.

dingl_ said,
Yap, gonna be some trouble I see someone at a urinal next to me wearing those things prescription or not I will smash them in seconds

or even across from me while enjoying a meal, its just not polite. who knows if they are recording

You mean you'll attack someone and steal and then destroy their property without even checking if the clearly visible recording indicator LED is on or off?

Yep, I don't know what kind of person they are, anyone can be pervert or up to no good. anyone can also cover up a silly LED easy enough

Besides a person with common sense will take them off where they are inappropriate, those with some respect will have little to worry about

dingl_ said,
Yap, gonna be some trouble I see someone at a urinal next to me wearing those things prescription or not I will smash them in seconds

or even across from me while enjoying a meal, its just not polite. who knows if they are recording

Funny. Better get upset at everybody with glasses then. There has been glasses with cameras for years now.

dingl_ said,
Yep, I don't know what kind of person they are, anyone can be pervert or up to no good. anyone can also cover up a silly LED easy enough

Besides a person with common sense will take them off where they are inappropriate, those with some respect will have little to worry about

I assure you sense is not something that's so common.

dingl_ said,
Yep, I don't know what kind of person they are, anyone can be pervert or up to no good. anyone can also cover up a silly LED easy enough

Enjoy your time in jail then. I hope you don't end up sharing with Big Bubba. :p

You will know. The screen is lit up and the glass has a glow. It's not invisible. You will certainly know when GG is on and or recording. If you are in a restaurant go ahead and rip them off the wearer. The numerous cameras on site will be able to provide what exactly happened.

If I was that desperate to record strangers in public, I could buy a "spy pen" off Amazon today for less than £50, Ive seen some that accept 64GB MicroSD cards, and record in 1080p.

dingl_ said,
Yap, gonna be some trouble I see someone at a urinal next to me wearing those things prescription or not I will smash them in seconds

or even across from me while enjoying a meal, its just not polite. who knows if they are recording

It's probably safe to assume that a majority of glass wearers will not be interested in what you do, or even aware that you exist.

dingl_ said,
Yep, I don't know what kind of person they are, anyone can be pervert or up to no good. anyone can also cover up a silly LED easy enough

Besides a person with common sense will take them off where they are inappropriate, those with some respect will have little to worry about

When people come up alongside you, do you check them for video recording pens and smash their phones? Android has a plethora of photo apps that can take photos at the press of one of the volume keys, even with the phone locked.

You talk of common sense yet you're talking about stealing and destroying peoples property that could potentially cost $1500 "just because". Not everyone will take them off, they are designed so that you can put your prescription lenses into them and wear them as normal glasses, Im sure many people will do just that. My Glasses cost an additional £150 so you'd be owing me a fair amount of money for your social awkwardness.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Resolu...sr=8-1&keywords=spy+pen

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Video-...sr=8-2&keywords=spy+pen

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pixels...&keywords=1080p+spy+pen

http://www.amazon.co.uk/1080P-...&keywords=1080p+spy+pen

dingl_ said,
Yap, gonna be some trouble I see someone at a urinal next to me wearing those things prescription or not I will smash them in seconds

or even across from me while enjoying a meal, its just not polite. who knows if they are recording

Pretty sure you are the only person interested in your penis.

Nor does anyone want to record you eating. Not sure what kind of crazy fetish world you live in, but no ones secretly trying to record your daily habbits to masturbate to later.

Get a grip! I do not find glass disturbing, just the reactions of "people" like yourself.