Google Glass on sale to "anyone" in the US
The internet giant says that the Glass is now in “open beta” meaning that “anyone in the US can buy the Glass Explorer Edition” – as long as they have the funds ($1,500) and Google has the stock.
Although this is certainly the most available Glass has ever been, it still seems to be a short but crucial step away from a free for all, with Google saying in a blog post that they will be listening to customers’ feedback “to continue to make Glass even better, ahead of our wider consumer release.”
This suggests that although anyone who wants to buy Glass can, the wearable computer won’t be making its way into high-street shops any time soon.
The device itself costs $1,500 (£889) for a version that can be worn without prescription lenses. If users want to integrate Glass with actual glasses they’ll have to buy one of four specially-designed frames (priced at $225 - see below) as well as lenses fitted by an optician.
This price seems extortionate compared to the value of Glass’s individual components (one ‘teardown’ site estimated the cost of Glass as just $80), but others have pointed out that this doesn’t include the cost of research and development.
Google is certainly being cautious about the roll-out of Glass, but its approach is more than justified by the significant social and legislative implications of the device.
The company has been successful in pushing its possible professional benefits (one sponsored video had a US doctor report that ‘Google Glass helped me save a life’) but the device’s use among the general public is still tainted by its association with rich yuppies.
Google Glass wearers have been attacked for sporting the device and the company ahs even been forced to release its own list of ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ with the number one piece of advice being: “Don’t be a glasshole”.
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