Updated with confirmation from Google that it will in fact open the Explorer program to all.
It looks like Google wants to usher its Glass face computer from the domain of the digital elite to less exclusive territory. On Thursday, The Verge posted a document that indicates Google will announce a one-day expansion of its Explorer program. The plan allows any U.S. resident to purchase Glass—thus significantly changing how the wearable is seeded to would-be users.
In a blog post published late Thursday afternoon, Google confirmed the leak, writing, “But every day we get requests from those of you who haven’t found a way into the program yet, and we want your feedback too. So in typical Explorer Program fashion, we’re trying something new.”
Google will open up sales at 6 am PDT on April 15, and the $1500 purchase will include a free frame or shade. In late January, Google announced its Titanium Collection of stylish Glass frames, so now we should see members of the general public wearing them in action.
It’s important to note that the new sales opportunity only applies to the Explorer edition of Google Glass. This is the same hardware that’s currently seeded to app coders and extreme early adopters. It’s all part of an alpha program designed to help Google figure out what exactly Glass is useful for—and how crowd-sourced intelligence can make the face computer better.
To date, access to Google Glass has been limited: To score your own specimen, you’ve had to apply via an online form, be recommended by an existing Explorer program member, or receive an invitation from Google itself. But now it looks like anybody with $1500 will be able to throw down.
So what’s Google’s angle, besides what it’s shared in the latest blog post? For starters, the company is interested in positioning Glass as accessible, friendly, non-Glassholey technology. This becomes ever more important as Google prepares to release a true consumer version of the face computer, which is planned for sometime this year.
Alternately, Google simply may have a bunch of Glass sitting around, lonely and idle in unopened boxes. There’s definitively no lack of interest in Glass, as the technology continues to make headlines—despite the fact it’s still alpha hardware and hasn’t been officially released.
So why not get Glass on the faces of more people? Are you planning on buying Glass this April 15? Please share your thoughts in a comment below.
This story, "Google Glass will soon be sold to normal people—but just for one day" was originally published by TechHive.