May 14, 2014
Anyone Over 18 With $1,500 Can Now Become A Google Glass Explorer
Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Last month, for one day only, Google made its Glass wearable computer technology available to anyone interested in becoming a Google Glass Explorer. This was the company's way of promoting the fact that Explorers aren't just high tech entrepreneurs and select programmers. Instead, anyone over the age of 18 with $1,500 in their pocket could take part in testing Google Glass.But those who missed their chance on April 15 should no longer need to feel left out.
On Tuesday, the tech giant announced that Google Glass is now open to anyone. However, just like the single day offering, it is only available to anyone over 18 with an extra $1,500. For its part, Google claims it has been "amazed and inspired" by the interest from would-be Explorers.
Last week on the official Google+ Glass page, the company noted:
"A few weeks ago, we opened up our site for a single day. The response was overwhelming – we almost ran out of inventory and had to close things down early. We've since built our inventory back up and plan to continue to accelerate new ways to expand the program in the weeks and months ahead. Our hope is to bring Glass to new Explorers, like optometrists, sports lovers, online retailers, cooks and travelers, who (like you!) can get in early and help make Glass better as part of our open beta, ahead of a wider consumer launch. These are exciting times and we're glad to have you along for the ride – keep the feedback coming!"
While the previous sale lasted just one day, Google is making Glass more generally available -- however, this is not the full-blown consumer launch. That is still expected to happen later this year. At present, the test program remains open only to those in the United States.
On Monday, the company added: "We're still in the Explorer Program while we continue to improve our hardware and software, but starting today anyone in the US can buy the Glass Explorer Edition, as long as we have it on hand."
Google also reaffirmed that it is still working to improve the hardware and software behind Glass -- which is essentially a stamp-sized electronic screen mounted to the side of a pair of otherwise normal but stylish looking frames. With Google Glass, wearers can record video, access email and even be provided turn-by-turn driving directions, while also retrieving information from the web via wireless connectivity to a smartphone or other mobile device.
The fact that it is impossible to know how a Google Glass user is actually using the technology has prompted some concerns.
In February, Google went so far as to lay out of set of social guidelines that its Glass Explorers should follow and asked these users not to be "Glassholes."
In the same month, a Google Glass Explorer, who is also a tech writer and business consultant, was involved in a confrontation for wearing the device in a San Francisco bar. According to media reports at the time, a person with the assailant suggested that Google Glass was "destroying the city."
It is thus unlikely that everyone -- even in the Bay Area -- will be happy to see that Google has expanded its public beta for the wearable technology.