prince charles
Prince Charles is eligible to join the Google Glass Explorer programme for the first time.Getty

Google has announced that its Glass Explorer programme is launching in the UK, allowing residents to purchase prototypes of the smartglasses for the first time at a cost of £1,000.

The programme was opened to the public in the US for the first time earlier this year following "overwhelming" interest in the head-mounted wearable device.

The device is now on sale through the company's online Play Store in five different colour options.

Google has stated that the smartglasses are still in beta and that only those wishing to trial the technology or develop apps for it.

New Glassware partners announced in conjunction with the UK launch include the Guardian, Star Chart, Goal.com and Zombies Run.

"Technology is at its best when it fits seamlessly into our lives and lets us get on with whatever we're doing," said Ivy Ross, head of Google Glass. "Our goal for Glass is exactly that - to make it easier to bring people the technology they rely on without drawing them out of the moment."

Race Yourself Google Glass
Zombies Run users see a ghost replay of their previous best time to the right of their peripheral vision.Race Yourself

As the technology is developed and becomes more widely adopted, more functions and third-party applications can be expected to be introduced for Glass.

It has already been tested in medical environments, assisting doctors in New York in surgical training.

Earlier this year it was reported that the smartglasses were being trialled by researchers at Newcastle University in an effort to find new ways in which Glass can be used to support people with longterm conditions such as Parkinson's disease and dementia.

A pair of Google Glass will set back UK customers £1,000, slightly more than the $1,500 pricetag in the US.