Things to keep in mind before you buy Google Glass

April 15, 2014
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Today — and today only — Google is making Glass available for purchase to just about anyone. Via Google’s Glass order page, any US citizen 18 or older can purchase Glass (while supplies last, of course). The sale is for the full Explorer price of $1,500, so be prepared to drop some serious cash on the wearable — if you still want to.


Over time, Glass has seen a mixed reception. Lauded for it’s unique position as a heads-up display for daily use, it has also been met with some consternation. A woman “attacked” at a bar, patrons being removed from theaters — all unique instances, but also those that hint at a cooled opinion of Glass since it was announced at Google I/O 2012. Over time, the Glass buzz went from “hey, that’s neat” to a form of technological McCarthyism.

As much as Glass is reported on as being intrusive for it’s recording capabilities, it’s also a device that holds quite a bit of promise. While it may never work its way into daily use for the average consumer, it has some use cases. The medical field is finding many uses for pushed info in critical situations, and that’s likely the tip of the iceberg. Over time, those who are in need of a heads-up display that can give short bursts of info will likely find reason to use Glass daily. Soccer moms and work-a-day guys? Doubtful, really.

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We’d humbly suggest you migrate to our Google Glass tag for the full breadth of info about Google’s wearable. For ever great story we hear about Glass, a similarly polarizing tale of drivers being cited or users otherwise attacked pop up. As much as we’d like to be overly positive about Glass right now, it’s just not possible. The jury, as they say, is still out.

If you decide to grab a pair of Glass for yourself, understand you’re not getting a device everyone will welcome, even if you’re welcome to be there. People will undoubtedly approach you with interest and awe, but there may also be some people who have only paid attention to the negative news, and shy away from even speaking to you while you have it on. We’re not being sensational, either — it happens.

It’s also a fairly crude interface, and lacks a lot of functionality some have longed for. It pushes notifications to you adequately, but parsing those into the most important alerts is still not an option. The small-ish screen is tough to view for extended periods of time, too — so don’t think this will make your smartphone a back-end solution, because it probably won’t.

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Glass is still in its early days. It’s a wholly new genre, really, and one Google has taken on full steam ahead — and alone. Google only recently started approaching partners for things like prescription frames/lenses, which is something that Pioneers and Explorers have wanted from day one. Taking on the challenge of creating a new niche within an industry is tough, and for Glass -- slow.

If there were one thing that could be said, it’s that even though we’ve seen Glass for quite some time, it’s still very much a beta product. If you’re into being an early adopter, and have $1,500 to drop without hesitation, we say go for it. If you’re only getting them to be ahead of the curve, know that Glass is unfinished, and lacks a lot of polish. Glass is still in the widest part of the curve, not really ahead of it.

You should also remember that, even with this sale, you’re beta testing. Google is dipping their toe into the retail waters, which is their M.O. when it comes to Glass. The $1,500 you drop is also non-refundable, so there isn’t a recourse should you decide in two weeks’ time you’re not a fan. Like everything else with Glass, you’ll just have to accept that’s how it is right now, and won't change any time soon.


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  • sounder

    It has limited functionality. Even if a custom ROM is installed.