Google looks for Glass explorers, shows off functionality

Have a good idea and $1,500? Google wants to hear what you'd do with Glass

Google is looking for people who want to test Glass, its upcoming computerized eye glasses, and tell developers how they would use them.

The company today issued a call for applicants to become what it called "explorers" at the same time it released a video showing multiple clips of Google's Glass in action. The clips included pictures and video taken as users are doing everything from hot air ballooning to figure skating, to playing with their kids and riding a roller coaster.

The video also gives potential users a first look at the Glass interface. A translucent pane on the right eye glass shows options for taking photos, shooting videos, getting directions, sharing, search and showing maps with graphic overlays.

The glasses, now called Glass rather than Google Glass, also enable users to activate all these options with voice control.

"Last year, we showed Glass to the world for the first time," said Vic Gundotra, senior vice president if engineering at Google, in a blog post on Google+.

"We're developing new technology that is designed to be unobtrusive and liberating, and so far we've only scratched the surface of the true potential of Glass. Now we want you to get involved and that's why today we're expanding our Glass Explorer Program," he said.

Gundotra went on to say that Google wants people to apply to become part of a small group of what they're calling explorers.

"We're looking for bold, creative individuals who want to join us and be a part of shaping the future of Glass," wrote Gundotra. "We'd love to make everyone a Glass Explorer, but we're starting a bit smaller."

Becoming an explorer won't be cheap.

Every explorer must pre-order a Glass Explorer Edition for $1,500 plus tax and attend a special pick-up experience, in person, in New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles.

To apply, people can use either Google+ or Twitter to say in 50 words or less what they would do if they had Glass. They must use the hashtag #ifihadglass, be at least 18 years old and live in the U.S.

Applicants can include up to five photos and a video of no more than 15 seconds. Google will contact winners directly via +ProjectGlass on Google+ or @projectglass on Twitter.

Applications are available until Feb. 27.

"Glass is still in the early stages, so we expect there will be some twists and turns along the way," wrote Gundotra. "While we can't promise everything will be perfect, we can promise it will be exciting."

Google has been fairly public about the development of the computerized glasses.

At last year's Google I/O developer's conference, Glass stole the show with a wild demo that had two men jumping out of a plane flying over San Francisco and parachuting to the roof of the Moscone Center where the conference was being held. They were wearing the glasses and streaming live video of their jump from them.

Google demonstrates its Google Glasses in this YouTube video.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

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