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Frame, LCOS display priciest Google Glass components

Posted: 15 May 2014     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Google Glass  LCOS  BOM 

For a device that sells for $1,500, you would expect it to have a steep production price tag as well. Apparently, that's not always the case. Google Glass' hardware and manufacturing costs amount to just $152.47, according to a teardown by IHS technology.

The bill of materials (BOM) cost of new products that are seen to break fresh technological ground tend to represent only a portion of its overall value. "IHS has noted this before in other electronic devices, but this is most dramatically illustrated in Google Glass, where the vast majority of its cost is tied up in non-material costs that include non-recurring engineering (NRE) expenses, extensive software and platform development, as well as tooling costs and other upfront outlays," said Andrew Rassweiler, senior director, cost benchmarking services for IHS.

Major components in Google Glass

Major components in Google Glass (preliminary pricing in US$). Source: IHS Technology

Although thousands of units are in the hands of users, Google Glass is not yet generally available through retail. "Today's Google Glass feels like a prototype," Rassweiler said. "The design employs many off-the-shelf components that could be further optimised. If a mass market for the product is established, chip makers are expected to offer more integrated chipsets specific to the application that will greatly improve all aspects of performance, including processing speed, energy efficiency, weight and size."

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