GoogleÔÇÖs Project Glass has had many mobile technology enthusiasts itching in anticipation. Recently Google launched a new site that has a bit of a surprise for us all. The new site does not feature the word Project anywhere! This could be a sign that Google Glass is officially moving out of the ÔÇ£projectÔÇØ phase and is on its way to a finalized product. There is also a new preview of the functionality of Google Glass.
What Is Google Glass?
For those who may not know, Google Glass is a wearable mobile technology that was announced last year at the yearly Google I/O conference. These glasses act as a heads-up display and a video camera that records and broadcasts what the user is seeing. The initial demonstration of this device was outstanding as Sergey Brin (Google Chief Executive) hands off a few prototypes to skydivers who then perform a jump onto the San Francisco convention center where the conference was hosted. It was then handed off to a biker who rides through the conference to deliver ÔÇ£The PackageÔÇØ to Brin. This was followed by a slew of videos depicting everything from trampolines to everyday use.
Want To Try It Yourself?
Not only is Google Glass well on its way, it seems that Google has elected to increase the reach of its Explorer Program. Explorer was an exclusive start to Project Glass where mobile developers who attended Google I/O 2012 were able to pre-order the High-Tech Spectacles for $1,500. Now in a big move they have expanded the program to include 8,000 lucky Applicants who will be able to enter into a contest to garner the right to become an honorary Explorer. You still have to buy the Glasses, however they are keeping the initial leak into the market small so this may be your chance to be ahead of the game.
What Do I Have To Do?
The contest rules are long and explicit, however here is a brief rundown of what it will take to win the ÔÇ£#ifihadglassÔÇØ contest. You must submit an essay of 50 words or less either on Google+ or Twitter with the aid of up to 5 images and a short 15 second (max) video. You need to include the hashtag #ifihadglass somewhere within the entry and you have to keep it clean. We will sum it up to no illegal or degrading content, however the list is much longer than that. Applications will be evaluated by a panel of individual content moderators who are neither employees of or paid by Google. This ÔÇ£JuryÔÇØ will judge based on Creativity, Compelling Use, Originality, and ÔÇ£Social and SpectrumÔÇØ. It is important to note that selected Explorers will need to pick up their pair of Google Glasses from New York, Los Angeles or San Francisco.
What I Think
Google Glass is a huge step forward for wearable mobile technology. This device will be the first of its kind and it is important to get it right. It can be difficult to test new mobile devices as many have felt by receiving buggy or what feels like unfinished product. Google took a very interesting route to solve this issue in creating a ÔÇ£test groupÔÇØ out of the diehard fans in what could be a beta. By allowing consumers who want to have the device badly enough to spend a big chunk of change and put the time into either going to Google I/O or being selected out of the #ifiihadglass contest, Google has created a test group that will not be put off by finding bugs, in fact they may even relish the chance to assist in the process. I think it will ultimately pay off for them and eagerly await my own pair of Google Glasses.