Google Gives You a Shot at Glass—For $1,500

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Feb. 20 2013 1:25 PM

Google Gives You a Shot at Glass—For $1,500

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OK, Glass?

Photo courtesy Google

There are certain phrases brought about by technology that would’ve sounded absurd any more than 15 years ago. Unfriend and retweet come to mind, as does the verb Google. If this new ad is any indication, we can add the command OK, Glass to that list.

On Wednesday morning, Google released a visual joy ride to show the world what it’s like to wear a Glass (that is, augmented-reality glasses) while playing in the park, marching in the band, or flying on the trapeze. No matter what’s going on, saying “OK, Glass” will get the device’s attention, and from there it’s ready to take photos or video, give directions, or search the Internet for that perfect picture of a tiger head.

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All the videos in the ad were taken by Glass devices. Most users so far have been Google employees, but now the project is expanding to let more people use Glass in their everyday lives. Over the next week, anyone can apply for a Glass through Google+ or Twitter, using the hashtag #ifihadglass and saying in 50 words or less what they would do with the device. Prospective users can also include up to five photos and one video (15 seconds or less) with their applications.

Google employees will pick the most creative applications and give those people a chance to buy a Glass of their own. Google spokesman Jay Nancarrow said the team is looking for users with a wide range of backgrounds, lifestyles, and hobbies, to make sure Glass is used in all kinds of activities. “Part of the fun is that we don’t really know what some of those things will be,” he said. (No word yet on if we’ll get a first-person view of Australia’s Parliament from Prime Minister Julia Gillard.)

That’s right—these people are competing for a chance to buy Glass, not win it. Anyone selected will need to pony up $1,500 for the device, and they’ll have to make their way to New York, San Francisco, or Los Angeles for what the Glass website calls a “special pick-up experience.”

There are already plenty of ideas floating around #ifihadglass on Twitter—some are serious, some are mocking, and some just speak the truth. Google is accepting applications until 2:59 a.m. Eastern time on Feb. 28, giving everyone a week to figure out how their favorite activities would be improved by saying, “OK, Glass.”

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Adam Sneed is a researcher for Future Tense at the New America Foundation. Follow him on Twitter at @atsneed.