Google Glass goes on sale Tuesday amid Explorer tension (+video)
Google Glass is on sale to the public for one day only. But exploring the frontiers of wearable tech isn't without its challenges.
Want to get your hands on Google Glass? Today is the (only) day.
For one day only, starting at 9 a.m. Eastern on Tuesday, any interested consumer (with certain limitations) can order a pair of Google Glass for $1,500 plus tax. This is the most widespread opportunity to purchase the Google-designed wearable tech thus far. It will likely serve as a measure of the demand for Glass, especially as controversy surrounding the device grows alongside the proliferation of wearable tech.
“To discover new places, sometimes we need to leave the map behind,” says Google on its Glass website. “And that's what Glass Explorers do. They are the first to make, to tinker, to create, to shape, and to share through Glass. We're expanding little by little, and experimenting with different ways of bringing new Explorers into the program.”
Google says that you must be a US resident with a US shipping address and be over 18 in order to sign up to purchase Glass for this “limited time.”
Google did not announce if there is a limit on the amount it will sell. In the case there is only a limited amount, there are still other ways to get your hands on a pair without being an official Explorer. eBay and Craiglist (in various major cities) each have several listings for various models (all priced at around $1,200 to $1,500).
Whether you want to be tasked with the Explorer title isn’t something you want to weigh lightly. Google Glass Explorers have fought traffic violations in court, accusations of movie pirating, and hostility in bars and other public places. One of the most apparent places for this tension is San Francisco, where the sudden influx of wealth from the rapidly growing tech sector has created a rift between affluent tech workers and middle-class residents. This weekend, a Business Insider reporter covering an eviction protest in the Mission District neighborhood had his Google Glass yanked from his face and then smashed on the ground.
In order to weave the roll-out into everyday life, Google has taken it slow. Since debuting the device in July, it has rolled out to increasing waves of developers and professionals to experiment with the technology. It recently rolled out the option to add prescription lenses and customizable frames to make the device more stylish. It released a wearer’s guide outlining Google Glass etiquette, including tips such as “respect others and if they have questions about Glass don’t get snappy."
We’re about to find out if wearable tech will weather the tension, with Glass potentially appearing on many more faces after Tuesday.