The media hype of Google Glass is on the rise. Sightings of Google employees wearing Google Glass are no longer unusual in Silicon Valley and at key trade events. Google has dialed up the public exposure of Google Glass without releasing much technical information. It appears, though, that Google is ramping up public awareness even more as it prepares to ship as many as 8,000 Google Glass units later this year.
Last week, Google announced its Explorer #ifihadglass program soliciting applications from the public to become a Google Glass Explorer. The applications are limited to only 50 words submitted via Google Plus or Twitter. Google will choose 8,000 people from the pool of applicants to pay $1,500 for Google Glass and participate in the program with Google and its marketing and advertising partner Anomaly. The winners will receive their invitations in March. Google did not announce a shipment date, but one can imagine that Google can’t expect the winners to wait too long and must already have units in production.
This group experiment with Google Glass is intended to engage users of Glass whose experiences will be tested. This is different than the first groups selected last June that met in January in San Francisco and New York for a two-day Glass Foundry hackathon where Google tested developers’ experiences building Google Glass applications.
Google appears to be intentionally creating slightly lower expectations for the #ifihadglass Explorers in its recently released video, focusing more on recording video, taking pictures and sharing the results via Google Glass. Anyone not amazed by this video is a candidate to be the target of Louis CK’s Everything’s Amazing and No One is Happy rant. But the footage in this video is less notable than the capabilities represented in the Project Glass: One Day video last year:
In the latest video, Google is probably under-promising while it works with independent developers to complete software that will be really amazing, so the product will over-deliver when it is released.