Wednesday 19 February, 2014
Do you want to ride the eye wear wave of the future? Google Glass is it, maybe. It’s definitely a high-tech gadget that would get any tech freak excited. For quite a while now, Google has been offering the Google Glass Explorer Program to people who want to try out the gadget before it hits the market.
At first, the program was invite only. If you were one of the lucky chosen few (many of whom were tech journalists and celebrities), you’d get an email in your inbox asking you if you’d like to try it. Then, Google allowed invitees to invite others. Finally, it put a sign up form on its website where you can apply for the program.
The Downsides of the Google Glass Program
However, there are some reasons you might not want to try out Google’s space-age eye wear. First of all, even if you get invited to join the program, it comes at a price. A Google Glass device runs about $1,500. If you’re a hardcore gadget freak, that’s a small price to pay, but by the time the device goes to market, you can be sure it’ll be lower than this. Plus, a gadget nerd could get a plethora of devices with that same money.
When you get invited to the program, you get a coupon that’s only good for seven days. In other words, cough up the 1.5 grand fast or you don’t get the Google Glass. It sounds like a bit of a hard sell, which is pretty off-putting to some people.
Google Glass is expected to roll out in 2014 but no definite date has been given yet. Until that release date, it’s going to undergo lots of changes. What this means is that you get a cruddy version of the final release with a 1.5 grand price tag. This is not to mention that it’s unlikely Google will offer ongoing support for its prototype models, which means you’re left with an ugly pair of glasses.
Advantages of the Program
If you’re a typical tech addict, you probably buy now and worry about value later. You may feel you’re getting your money’s worth no matter what the price because you’re on the cutting edge. You’re playing with the toys of the future.
There’s only one other case where the Google Glass Explorer Program would be especially valuable. If you’re a developer and you’re planning to create apps for Google Glass when it’s eventually released, a head-start using the prototype can generate ideas and get you started realizing them. Even if it’s a primitive version of the eventual release, you can get a leg up on your competitors and start some ideas flowing.