Google Inc began taking online orders for its Glass wearable gadget on Tuesday in its biggest push to get the $1,500 wraparound Web-ready glasses out to the U.S. public.
“It kind of generates excitement. Right now, Google Glass is this really esoteric device that people, some people, have seen. They’ve heard about it. They haven’t had a chance to touch it. They’re starting to misunderstand it and I think that’s Google’s big concern,” explained Mashable’s chief coorespondent, Lance Ulanoff.
“They’re going to flood the market a little bit, one day, allowing anybody to try and order one and that will hopefully change the perspective on these Google Glasses.”
For only one day, Google has made the wearable device available to more than just the select group of users such as apps developers in its Glass Explorer program.
Google did not say how many pairs it would sell, just that the quantity would be limited.
“It’s going to be a way for Google to broaden the scope of the customers they have out there. If you take a look at what they’ve done so far they’ve had Google Glass Explorer program, so those very first early adopters, they’ve expanded that a little bit and with today, still maintaining that $1500 price point, and just one day, and just in the U.S., they’re expanding the scope just a little bit,” said Ramon Llamas, a research manager the International Data Company’s Mobile Phone Team.
“This is going to help them iron out some more of the bugs and kinks and any other mistakes that are going to, that could possibly, happen with the roll out and get that live feedback from the end users to make sure this a product that they are going to feel a hundred percent confident for prime time.”
Many tech pundits expect wearable devices to go mainstream later this year, lead by Google Glass, extending smartphone and tablet capabilities to gadgets worn on the body, from watches to headsets. Google has run campaigns in the past to drum up public involvement, including inviting people to tweet under the hashtag #ifihadglass for a chance to buy a pair of the glasses.
Google Glass has raised privacy concerns, prompting some legislators to propose bans on the gadget.
“I think that the communication and the product and what it’s really for, they haven’t really figured that out,” said Ulanoff.
“They haven’t really made it extensible enough, so you can’t manage your contacts properly. They don’t have the number of apps that you really want. So, it’s a fairly limited set of applications. So, people aren’t even sure what they would do with this thing and you’ve noticed very recently that they’ve put out a lot of marketing promotion to try and explain exactly what you would do with this wearable device.”
Ulanoff also expects Google to cut the price for Glass, by as much as half, when the product is finally launched.