Buying Google Glass today? 7 things you should know

What to expect before you decide to buy the wearable computers

Not one of the approximately 8,000 Google Glass Explorers but wish you were?

If so, today is the day to pick up a pair, but there are a few things you should know.

Google said late last week that it is looking to expand its group of about 8,000 early testers, known as Explorers, so it is selling prototypes of its wearable computer today.

Google's wearable computer Glass are for sale today for $1,500, plus tax.

"Our Explorers are moms, bakers, surgeons, rockers, and each new Explorer has brought a new perspective that is making Glass better," wrote Google's Glass team in a post on its Google+ page Thursday. "But every day we get requests from those of you who haven't found a way into the program yet, and we want your feedback too. So in typical Explorer Program fashion, we're trying something new."

Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, was quick to buy his own pair first thing this morning.

"The purchase process was startlingly easy," he said. "It took me no more than 5 minutes... With all the controversy surrounding Glass, I wanted to experience it to better determine if the issues are in fact true."

Moorhead said Google is pushing out Glass to more Explorers because it' wants to fine tune the user experience, and more users will provide more feedback.

"And I believe Google just wants more people out there, outside of the initial "Glassholes," to show that more people outside of the high-tech industry will wear them," he added. "They're hopeful this will help people feel better about Glass."

Google also added a big software update to the headset today that includes KitKat, the newest version of Android, and improved photo software.

Here are a few things you should know as you consider making a purchase:

  • 1. Decide right now. Glass went on sale at 9 a.m. ET today and it's first come, first serve. Google has not said how many pairs of Glass will be available and when they run out, so do your chances of buying a pair today.
  • 2. Get out your credit card. The computerized eyeglasses cost $1,500 plus tax. You also need to be a U.S. resident over the age of 18.
  • 3. You'll have some choices. Go to the Glass site, select the color and style of frame you want, (such as curved, thin or bold) and type of shades.
  • 4. Orders take about a week. Moorhead said when he bought his pair of Glass this morning, he was told the glasses would ship in five to seven days. The glasses also will be shipped directly to the buyer. There's no need for users to pick them up at a few central sites as there was with the initial Explorers.
  • 5. You can always return it. If owning Google Glass, or looking fairly nerdy wearing it, isn't all you thought it would be, Google has a return policy. Return the device undamaged and within 30 days, and Google says it will give issue a full refund.
  • 6. You'll be buying a prototype. Google hasn't commercially released Glass yet, and the company siad it expect the wearables to officially go on sale later this year. What you buy today is still a prototype for beta testers. The company wants to know how you like wearing them, what works for you, what doesn't and what apps you want to see on them.
  • 7. Google is still building its Glass app ecosystem. At this point, Glass may not have all the apps you're looking for but the company is continually expanding what's available. So far, people can use Glass to, among other things, improve their golf game, post tweets, translate words, find recipes and get their news from CNN and the New York Times.

This article, Buying Google Glass today? 7 things you should know, was originally published at Computerworld.com.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

See more by Matt Hamblen on Computerworld.com.

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