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April 1, 2013

Google Glass Explorers Program: how much are you ready to pay to be cool?

So last Wednesday, I got a tweet from Google’s Project Glass:

I had, indeed, “applied” to Google Glass by sending a tweet (including #ifIhadglass) back in February: it seemed like a great tool to provide a unique live music/interview/behind the scenes experience to the reader of I CARE IF YOU LISTEN. It was only upon reception of the tweet that I discovered that being invited to join the Glass Explorers program meant that I actually had to pay $1,500 (+ tax) for them. Hmm… OK? But I already wear glasses (albeit “dumb” ones). Well, with Glass it will be possible to add frames and lenses that match one’s prescription, but … this feature won’t be ready for the Explorer Edition’s release!

So what do we have here:

  • a $1,500 fee that I didn’t expect for testing and publicly talking about/using a new product (that was stupid of me, of course)
  • no way to accommodate my prescription meaning that I’d have to buy some contact lenses: I don’t really want to buy contact lenses since they are basically polymers, and polymers are forever
  • a range of features we don’t know much about:
    • record a video (what can I do with this video? can I download this footage somewhere and edit it?),
    • take a photo (see video),
    • send a message (is it an SMS? a message on Google+? can I tweet from Glass? connect with Facebook? post as my Google+ page?),
    • directions (which 4G network will I be using? will AT&T let me tether via Bluetooth to my iPhone?),
    • translate your voice (well, that’s going to be fun with my French accent),
    • wikipedia stuff on the spot (ultimate win at trivia nights).

Is it me or the price tag is way too high for a product that does nothing more than my iPhone—which is never more than 3 feet away from me anyway? Of course, this is probably not an issue for the vast number of celebrities that were invited to join the program: Neil Patrick Harris, Soulja Boy, Alyssa Milano, or even… Newt Gingrich (tentative list of winners). I am waiting to see what the community of Glass Explorers will do/say but my guess is that most of them will be OK with paying for the cool factor. Or I might just get disqualified for writing this post?