The Explorer version of Google Glass is back on sale again—and this time Google isn’t limiting purchases to a strict 24-hour period like it did in April. In a Tuesday post on its Glass Google+ page, Google explained that it’s “decided to move to a more open beta,” inviting anyone who lives in the U.S. to join the Explorer program “as long as we have it on hand.”
Interested? Gather up $1500, amble on over to the Glass page, and walk through the shopping engine, choosing your color, and then picking either new Titanium Collection prescription frames or impact-resistant sun shades.
In its announcement post, Google is careful to note that it’s still looking for feedback from Explorer beta testers ahead of its wide consumer release. The company also explains that the one-day sale in April practically erased all inventory. Google has since replenished its stock, and plans to “accelerate new ways to expand the program in the weeks and months ahead.”
But how many months ahead? And how much more Glass will go on sale?
When Google uses the word “program,” I’m assuming it’s referring to the Explorer beta program. Yet the final consumer retail version of Glass has been teased for a 2014 release. So how many more months of Explorer Glass can we expect before the arrival of Consumer Glass? Would you really want to buy the Explorer version in, say, August for $1500 only to discover the consumer version is going on sale in November for much, much less?
I’m just reading the tea leaves, folks, and that’s always an inherently risky and imprecise exercise. But at some point Google will have to resolve some basic pricing and timing issues, lest it leave some late-adopting Explorers a bit miffed. The Explorer version can’t stay on sale forever, and the segue from beta to final release will have to offer some type of explicit bonus to Explorers who’ve pledged loyalty to Google via a $1500 credit card purchase.
Because, after all, the more Explorer editions the company releases, the less valuable the hardware will be at the Mountain View Antiques Roadshow of 2064.
This story, "Google Glass once again on sale for all U.S. residents (this time with no time limit)" was originally published by TechHive.