Google Glass "Release Date": April 15, But Only For A Day - Report
Have you been looking for an opportunity to get your hands on Google's new smartglasses? Your time might have finally come. In the middle of April, Google might make Glass available to anyone who wants to buy a pair, but only for one day.
Don't call it a "release date," because it's not the wide consumer release of the finished product that Google has repeatedly been rumored to have set for sometime in 2014. April 15 is just a day when Google might possibly (possibly) allow people who are outside the limited prototype-testing program, Glass Explorer, to obtain their own pair of Google Glass.
This rumor comes from The Verge, which got its hands on some inside Google documents labeled "Google - Confidential and Proprietary," which is marked "Proposal: Explorer Program Expansion" at the top. Inside the document is a timeline and proposal for allowing any U.S. residents with an extra $1500 to purchase a pair of Google Glass on April 15 and join the Explorer program:
"On April 15th at 6am PDT:
- Announce a limited time (about a day?) expansion of the Explorer Program where any US resident would be able to purchase Glass (through google.com/glass) and join the Explorer Program.
- Include free frame or shade with purchase ($1500)"
Go to The Verge for a look at the exclusive, official-looking document and a sneak preview of the Glass Explorer Edition online shopping page the company has set up for such an occasion.
Expanding the Explorer Program
This would be an unprecedented chance for outsiders to get a pair of the next-generation smartglasses, but Google expanding the Explorer isn't unprecedented in itself. The first Glass Explorers had to enter into a competition, telling Google on social media what they would do if they had their own Glass device. But after that first chunk of people obtained Glass, Google expanded the Explorer program twice -- once by opening up the program to friends of Glass Explorers who get a referral and then by creating a waitlist for others to sign up for a chance.
Google didn't comment on The Verge's leaked exclusive, but today might be the day when the Mountain View giant makes a decision on the matter. Later in the leaked document, a "next steps" section of the timeline describes "principal signoff" as being done by "4/10" -- or today. Of course, this could be the day when the plan gets rejected as well.
Was Google Listening to Latin Post?
Google has continually dealt with negative press attention and public reaction to Google Glass, with privacy and other concerns cropping up whenever another "Glasshole" gets kicked out of a bar. To combat those perceptions, Google wrote a lengthy "10 myths about Glass" post on Google+, which Latin Post Tech commented on.
In "The Answer to Google Glass's Perception Problems: Show, Don't Tell," a commentary by Latin Post Tech on how to resolve the negative attention Glass has garnered, we suggested something very similar to what Google is rumored to be doing five days from now.
In the piece, we noted that the Explorer program has created negative perceptions of Glass because it is too limited to 30-something tech elites and "insufferable" technology journalists.
Instead, we suggested opening up Glass availability "to regular people -- either through expanding the Explorer program ... to a more diverse group of people or through old-fashioned demonstrations," which we suggested could be done pretty easily -- even at a discount, or for free. (It looks like Google won't be doing the latter, and so I won't be getting a pair any time soon.)
It would be the height of solipsism to believe Google had read that Latin Post Tech essay and took my advice. But as a journalist, solipsism comes naturally.
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