If you’re willing to drop $1,500 on a test version of Google Glass, but didn’t make the first cut of early adopters, now you’ve got a second chance.
Google announced that it’s expanding its Glass Explorer program, allowing more people to try out the high-tech glasses. While this isn’t the first time Google has allowed Explorers to invite friends, new users no longer have to be located in New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles:
So over the next few weeks, all Explorers will have the opportunity to invite three friends to join the program. They’ll be able to buy Glass online and can have it shipped to their home, office, treehouse or igloo. We’re counting on you to get Glass to the people you think will make great Explorers. More Explorers means more feedback, and more feedback means better Glass.
By “join the program,” they mean “pay us in exchange for product,” but at least this time you don’t have to send a plea to Google explaining how you’ll use the device. You just have to know someone who did.
For existing users, Google announced that it’s offering a new version of the hardware, which is compatible with prescription frames and future shade lines.
Google Glass is still a work in progress, with new features being added over time. And while a handful of third-party apps are already available, including Facebook, Twitter and Evernote, a full-blown app store isn’t expected until next year.
Although Google hasn’t said when the final version of Glass will be available beyond a vague estimate of next year, or how much it’ll cost, the fact that the test program is still expanding suggests that general availability isn’t coming anytime soon.
The news was first reported by Financial Times, which claims that more than 10,000 people are part of the Glass Explorer program now. That means we can expect up to 40,000 people using Glass and creating strange new privacy concerns in the near future.