Google Glass has gone on sale in the UK at a price of £1,000, making it the second country after the US to get the Android-powered eyewear.

Despite being on sale in the US for two years, Google maintains the augmented reality device is still only at the prototype stage. It is therefore targeting Glass at developers as opposed to consumers.

At current exchange rates, the £1,000 price tag equates to roughly $1,700, or $200 more than the device’s price in the US.

Glass includes a small screen just above the right eye that can be used to deliver directions, social media streams and web pages direct to the user. The wearable computer allows wearers to take a picture, record a video and read messages. 

Google wants early adopters, known as Explorers, to buy and use Glass and report back problems and suggestions that could help shape the future of the product, which is expected to eventually cost about the same as the average smartphone.

UK residents over the age of 18 can become a Glass Explorer by purchasing the facially mounted gadget directly from google.co.uk/glass.

Since Glass's first roll out, Google has made three hardware revisions and several software updates. It is understood that the UK version will come with better battery life than previous models, as well as customisations to adapt its voice recognition to the varied British accent.

Several older versions of Glass are currently on sale on eBay, costing up to £950.

The UK public can order Glass online with a credit card but Google has also opened a trial and fitting “Basecamp" centre in King’s Cross in London.

Five UK-specific “Glassware” apps will be available from launch, including the Guardian’s new app which sends breaking news alerts and a selection of other Guardian content to the smart glasses.

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger said: The Guardian’s philosophy and approach to journalism is independent of any platform. What intrigues us most about Google Glass and other wearable devices are the new journalistic opportunities they provide, and how they allow us to collaborate with our readers around the world while respecting their privacy.”

Other apps include Star Chart, Shazam, Zombies Run and goal.com.