Google has made its Google Glass augmented-reality headsets available for sale April 15.
There’s just one catch: It’s a one-day sale, starting at 9 A.M. EST. “Any adult in the U.S. can become an Explorer by visiting our site and purchasing Glass for $1500 + tax—and it now comes with your favorite shade or frame, thanks to feedback from our current Explorers,” reads Google’s official posting on the matter. “The number of spots available is limited, so mark your calendar if you want to get in.” Those interested can try to reserve a unit at the official Google Glass Website.
While it’s questionable whether Google Glass is truly ready for mass consumption—not everyone’s reacted kindly to seeing the hardware being worn on the street—several groups might want to jump at the opportunity to purchase the device, especially those potentially affected in a big way by the rise of wearable electronics.
For starters, accessory makers could benefit from owning a device. Since Google Glass made its debut, a handful of companies have released everything from colorful skins for the device’s frame to whimsical plastic attachments (pencil holders, miniature flower pots, and more); more devices in the ecosystem will mean more designers figuring out how to put their unique stamp on the product, which in turn could translate into a noticeable ramping-up in the number of accessories on the market.
Google first released the kernel code for Google Glass in April 2013, and thousands of developers downloaded it within a few days. Since that time, Google has augmented the initial release with tools, samples, demos, downloads, release notes, and links to community forums via developers.google.com. Despite all that software, however, many software developers interested in Glass haven’t yet had the opportunity to get their hands on a device—the April 15 sale could change that. If Google Glass evolves into a popular product, developers could benefit from having lots of time to develop apps before the hardware hits the market in a more permanent way.
Interested people from healthcare, law enforcement, aerospace, and other industries would also like to take Glass for a test run, the better to see whether the technology can alter (for the better) how they do their jobs. More than a few engineers, surgeons, cops, and tech pros will likely jump at the chance to own a Glass of their very own, although the regulations associated with their respective industries will probably prevent many of them from deploying them in a professional context immediately.
Whatever their reasons, though, anyone interested in Glass will need to act fast. Google hasn’t indicated when it will make Glass available on a more permanent basis.
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