Google has recently sent out emails to potential buyers, allowing them to make an appointment at Google Glass service centres or “Basecamps” as they are better known, to test out Glass. These Basecamps are located in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York and interested customers can bring along a friend as long as they are above 13.
The rationale behind this, is probably due to the lack of demand for Glass in general, as the price tag of $1,500 puts it out of the reach of us average mortals, who have better things to spend on rather than an overpriced pair of glasses. In addition, as the concept of a wearable tech glasses is relatively new, no one knows for sure how useful it will be without having to fork over $1,500 so this strategy is bound to gain more fans. The other factor is that as Glass is only accessible to US and UK respectively, this further reduces the pool of users who are willing to spend the moolah on Glass as they will probably fall into the category of hardcore geeks or simply have money to throw around. This free demonstration strategy would then help to spread the word around, so as to get more people interested in Glass as a device to own and use in daily life. The beta status of Glass might factor in as users might not want to own a device that is still in the works meaning to say there might be kinks and bugs to work out. Another possibility lies in the design of Glass not being much to write about for $1,500. Thankfully it seems that Google is aware of this and is working with Diane Von Furstenberg to rectify this. The final piece of the puzzle lies with Google’s approach to publicly beta testing Glass so as to gauge/refine it before coming up with its final iteration. This free hands on demo to the average joe would help to provide more data and better design Glass for the masses.
It will be pretty interesting to see what Google does with wearables technology in general as the strategy so far has been to do a full integration of wearables with our Android smartphones acting as the ‘hidden core’. Google Glass in this case, is simply a part of the solution that Google is providing to allow us to utilise our mobile phones conveniently without removing them from our pockets.