Whether Google Glass will become the next must-have accessory remains to be seen, but by giving the public a chance to own one ahead of a full-scale commercial release, Google may be about to find out.
On Friday, Google announced it will sell Google Glass next Tuesday in the United States for one day only. The high-tech eyewear is available in the Glass Explorer version, which means it is the same as those in use by a limited number of Google employees, developers and early adopters chosen by Google.
Even with a price tag of US$1,500, Google Glass is expected to sell out, but will it live up to the hype?
Market research firm Toluna said 72 percent of Americans are not interested in Google Glass because of privacy concerns.
In the extreme, some vocal haters use “glasshole” to describe people who use it.
The most controversial feature of Google Glass is a small camera that can take snap photos and record video.
People wearing it are banned from some restaurants and bars in the US, as well as casinos, movie theaters and strip clubs in other places, according to the Huffington Post.
Google Glass has a built-in GPS navigation system to aid drivers but the US Department of Transport warned that this could distract motorists.
The West Virginia state legislature has proposed a ban on people wearing Google Glass while driving. They face hefty fines.
There are going to plenty of restrictions for owners of Google Glass owners but in specific areas, it can make life easier.
It is already making a difference in healthcare. Doctors have been using Google Glass to stream procedures live through the wearable device, according to reports.
By installing an application called Beam, which is specially designed for medical use, doctors can monitor patients in real time.
Elsewhere, Google Glass may be used to provide a more personalized customer service. Virgin Atlantic has started a trial on its Upper Class section. Customer data stored on the device allows the cabin staff to get advance information about the passengers’ needs and preferences.
Google Glass can also display instruction menus, leaving users with a free hand to do other things. This is especially useful for assembling everything from furniture to appliances.
Many Google enthusiats might be willing to overlook the downside for the satisfaction of owning a breakthrough device. However, Google Glass will need more than die-hard fans to get the world to embrace it.
We shall see if the Explorer set, which is essentially part of research (Google will use feedback from users to fine-tune the device), is a step in that direction.
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