Google is letting the adult American public buy Google Glass for one-day only; today, 15 April.
The company said it plans to open up "some spots" in the Glass Explorer Program, basically letting more US residents get their hands on the hot wearable gadget alongside some complementary frames and shades. While it's not clear who still hasn't had the chance to buy Glass, Google thinks it can do better by offering a limited-time sale.
Google might simply be drumming up publicity and hype, or it's honestly trying to get Glass into more hands before embarking on an official launch later in 2014, but the only thing that probably matters to you is how and why you should get a pair. Not to worry, because Pocket-lint has you covered. We've answered all your burning questions below. Enjoy.
What is Google Glass?
Glass (short for Google Glass) is a wearable computer with an optical head-mounted display that debuted in 2012. It's being developed as part of a "Project Glass" R&D project at a secretive facility called Google X, which Google-founder Sergey Brin oversees.
Google published a teaser video in early 2013 that showcased Glass in the first-person POV. The "How it Feels" Glass video quickly went viral on YouTube, generating excitement among consumers and spawning a slew of press coverage and parodies. The original video is below, though Pocket-lint recently covered all of the features that Glass has been updated to support since the video's release.
What is the Explorer Program?
The Glass Explorer program is an early adopter program that began in early 2013. It's available to both developers and consumers, and it allows them to test an "Explorer Edition" of Glass. Glass testers are known as "Explorers" - and they can report feedback to Google at their leisure.
Google launched a complementary Glass website in 2013, when the company then claimed it would make Glass available to a wider group of Explorers in late 2013, with even broader availability in 2014. Google has followed up on this promise a few times.
Google accepted 2,000 pre-orders for the wearable heads-up display in 2013, and then it rolled out pairs to 8,000 more applicants later that year. Glass has since only been available through friend referrals and waitlists, but Google's ultimate goal is to produce a mass-market ubiquitous computer. And the consumer version of Glass will allegedly cost "significantly less" than the Explorer Edition.
How do you get Google Glass?
UPDATE: Google has a dedicated webpage for buying Glass. It details what you'll get along with tech specs. It also asks you to specify your colour preference and whatever free accessory you might want to include. Once you do that, just add Glass to your cart and checkout. Simples, right? Better hurry still - because Google maintains that supplies are limited.
ORIGINAL: First, register for a reminder: Google.com/glass/start/how-to-get-one
On 15 April at 9 AM EST, Google will let anyone living in the US join the Explorer Program. You just need to sign up on the website listed above, and then Google will send you a reminder to come back and purchase Glass. Oh, but you must be at least 18 years old to buy. Google's reminder page asks you to enter your full name, email, phone, country, and why you're interested. At that point, you can just click "Sign me up" - and voila!
It is assumed Google will transform its reminder page into an actual webpage for purchasing Glass on 15 April, though the company might hand-pick registered applicants instead and send them an individual link via text or email to pay for their Google Glass. But that's just speculation. To be safe, sign up for a reminder now.
There is another catch: After you sign up for a reminder, you'll have only one day to purchase Glass ...and supplies are limited. Google is trying a pretty strong sales tactic here, effectively muscling materialistic Americans into buying a new wearable that they don't really need. But if you don't care about any of that and want Glass shipped to your doorstep right away, then sign up for the reminder and then cash out on 15 April.
How much does Google Glass cost?
If you're one of the lucky chosen ones who were hand-picked by Google to get a pair of Glass, congratulate yourself and then fork over the cash. Google isn't giving away its optical head-mounted display free of charge after all. You'll need $1,500 + tax (the same price as the Explorer Edition of Glass since launch). But that price tag comes with "your favorite shade or frame," as Google described it.
Why should you buy Google Glass?
This question could also be "who should buy Google Glass?" - because it is certainly a niche product (even though Google's goal is mass market). Glass is niche at the moment because it's so expensive, still very prototype-ish, and its app ecosystem is less than plentiful. But if you're a developer or early adopter (with lots of cash on hand of course), Glass is definitely worth your hard-earned money.
Sure, you'll look like a glasshole and might get interrogated by the F.B.I. for wearing Glass in public, but you'll also get to explore a plethora of apps for sciences like medicine, astrophysics, geology, botany, etc. You'll also get to capture moments in real-time, recording and snapping photos while on the go. And you can do it all while exploring.
Like, legit exploring. You can walk along some wooded mountainside and capture the newly-growing foliage at springtime. And then you can load one of those botany apps to figure out the name of that whatever-the-heck-plant you just photographed. The point is...Glass is cool. It's new. It's the future. It's techy. And, if you're reading this, we're assuming you like tech, so why not just splurge and get a pair?
You never know when Google will give you the chance again. Oh, that's right: a full consumer release is expected for later this year. Whatever, though. Buy it now anyway.