Google Glass set for public release on 15 April … sort of

11 Apr 2014

Google has announced it will open up its Glass Explorer programme to any adult in the US with US$1,500 to spare on 15 April – but spots are limited and likely won’t even last the day.

Google had been planning to make the announcement next week but, when The Verge scooped the story, it was decided that the cat was already out of the bag and this post on the device’s Google Glass page reveals all.

On Tuesday, 15 April, at 6am PDT (2pm IST), “some spots” on the Glass Explorer programme will be opened up to anyone over 18 and resident in the US. Becoming a Google Glass Explorer will cost US$1,500 (plus tax) and, in return, you’ll get your very own Glass headset plus free prescription frames or shades.

Why the US only? Regulation could be a deciding factor. To release Glass in Europe, for example, Google first needs to deal with numerous bodies and authorities in various countries to address the concerns surrounding the device. Attendees at a European Parliament meeting last September believe this could take years to resolve.

How to get Glass

The Glass Explorer programme has been expanding since it was first launched in 2012, inviting more and more users to test the smart specs and provide feedback to Google. The first spots were offered to developers at Google I/O in 2012, others were selected for describing what they’d do #ifihadglass, and then there were invites offered through referrals from friends on the programme and partnerships with schools and universities.

Those interested in getting their hands on the futuristic heads-up display can register their interest on the Glass site to receive a reminder when they become available, or come back to the site at the right time.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.