There has been quite some activity on the Google Glass front recently, with Google announcing a 2.0 version of its hardware, official accessories, as well as opening up its program to even more people. Now the company is putting into motion yet another big change in its program that will no longer require Google Explorers, the collective term for its pre-release testers, to personally pick up their shiny new eyewear.
In the past, those who have been lucky enough to be accepted into the Explorer program had to pick up the device in person at designated Google offices in Los Angeles or New York. This gave Google the opportunity to introduce and educate users to Google Glass before they even started using it. As the device was still in its infancy and not yet ready for public consumption, such a step was necessary. It seems, however, that Google has started taking steps in preparing Google Glass for the masses, including doing away with the rather inconvenient requirement of going to one of two states to receive the hardware.
Google will now start shipping Glass directly to their users. But new Explorers still need to be properly introduced to Google Glass, and so Google is turning to its own video chat service to make it happen. New Explorers will now have to go through a 45-minute chat with a human "Glass Guide" on Hangouts. The user must make an appointment for such an orientation beforehand via a phone call.
While this new remote orientation is indeed easier than the previous process, it is hardly convenient, let alone feasible, to rely on it when Google Glass hits the market next year. Either the retail version of the device will be so simple to use that it will no longer warrant such an education process or Google will have to think of some creative way to train potentially hundreds if not thousands of new users all over the country, or even the world.