Today Google Venture held a “Glass Collective” event. We didn’t learn a lot of new things about Google’s plan for getting Glass out to the general public, but we do know that Google is planning to ship Glass Explorer editions to developers within the next month. Last year at Google I/O we were treated to the spectacle of people wearing Glass skydiving, jumping bikes off of roofs, and riding into the event in real time. Attendees were then allowed to pre-order Google Glass units, but were not told when the actual devices would ship. So far we still don’t have an exact date, but we are expecting these early editions of Glass to go out well before Google I/O 2013 in late May.
Presumably Google will be featuring Glass pretty heavily at I/O this year, so it makes sense that they would want developers to have a chance to come up with some creative ways to use the technology before the big announcement. Of course Google also just finished its #IfIHadGlass competition on Google+ and Twitter. Around 8000 people have been offered the chance to purchase Glass for $1500 providing that they pick up the devices in San Francisco, NY, or L.A. We still don’t know when the winners of the If I Had Glass competition will be able to purchase their devices, but at this point it seems safe to say that it will be June at the earliest.
There seems to be a lot of controversy over a product that has yet to even ship to developers. There were accusations that the winners of the If I Had Glass competition were chosen at random, and Google even rescinded some of the invitations that went out to calm people down. But the point isn’t really that deserving people get the devices early. The idea is that some one who isn’t a developer or a Google employee needs to be using this thing out in the real world so that Google can find out about issues in the design and software before an assembly line somewhere starts cranking these things out by the thousands.
I doubt that we will see Glass sell in large numbers until the price starts to come down from $1500 bucks. But even if Glass is a flop, it will be interesting to see how it affects the way we view (no pun intended) devices in the future.