When I applied months ago to be a part of Google’s Explorer program for their wearable Glass, I didn’t think I’d hear back anytime soon. I assumed that they would be selecting from a pool consisting primarily of developers and media folk who would give some positive early previews of the device to feed into the hype continues to build for the platform.
I had the chance to try Glass in December of last year when I ran into Brad Griffith, President and Web Strategist of Buckeye Interactive. An Explorer himself, he was more than eager to share his Glass unit with me and let me test it out for myself. The initial “wow” factor was undeniable, and I was eager to have more time with the product to experience its potential. (read his experiences with Glass here)
An Unexpected Invitation
That being said, I was pleasantly surprised when I received an invitation email a few days ago from Google that I now had my chance to become a Glass Explorer myself. After trying unsuccessfully to wipe the grin on my face that was my initial reaction to reading this, I clicked the link titled “Get Glass” and started to reflect about my current situation: Is this new wearable smartphone accessory really worth the $1500 price tag?
My biggest concern with jumping the gun and shelling out over a grand for a cell phone accessory isn’t whether I’d actually use it or not. While some Explorers have mentioned that wearing Glass in public can be a bit strange and awkward, I’d relish in the attention and would enjoy explaining the contraption on my face to onlookers.
Rather, I am worried that becoming an Explorer and paying for an unfinished version of the product will come back to haunt me upon Google’s official release of Glass. How much will it cost? When will is be released? How much MORE will I have paid to get it earlier than others?
To Explore or Not To Explore
While I am leaning more toward declining the offer to pay to be a part of the program, I am curious to see what others have to think. If you were in my shoes, would you take a chance to try out Glass up to a year before others? Or would you ride it out and wait for the public release to (hopefully) nab it at a much lower price point in the near future?
When I initially received the invite, only the Tangerine and Sky colors were available for purchase. After checking again today, however, I’ve noticed that their other color options are now in stock (I’ve had my eye on Cotton from the beginning) which makes me reconsider giving it a go.
Leave a comment below or tweet @EdTechToolkit with your opinion, as I’m having a hard time convincing myself to make the transition to Glass right now.
I’m glad Glass had an impact on you. I’ll gladly weigh in on your decision!
As a developer, running an application development firm, I’m in a very different position to get a financial return from the investment than you are, I’m guessing. My justification for buying in early:
1. Early Mover Advantage: There is still a notable lack of software for Glass, and my company and I are in a great position to help fill that need. Though there isn’t currently much of a market for selling Glass apps because of the limited number of devices out there, I do think there will be a market for Glass apps some time this year. But if not…
2. Conversation Starter: Glass is an easy conversation starter. I attend a lot of tech and entrepreneurship events, and I have plenty of people who approach me to ask about Glass, but they wouldn’t have approached me otherwise. You asked me about it at Ted’s Montana Grill, in fact! And it’s not just a superficial conversation starter–it gives me a chance in some of those conversations to talk about how Buckeye Interactive finds opportunities for businesses to grow and revenue and profit. I can ask what business someone is in, and share a great Glass application that would change the way he/she lives and works. That’s a great conversation.
3. I love technology: I think you’re in this category, as well. This alone isn’t enough to drop $1500 on a pair, but without my love of tech, I wouldn’t be able to get any value out of the first two reasons above. I thrive on looking at technology and finding ways to use it, build upon it, and improve businesses and lives with it. I’m constantly thinking about how things can be done better using technology. So this is the kicker, but also the thread that ties my Glass experience together.
So is just the third reason enough for you to buy? Probably not. What other reasons do you have that could push you over the edge to become an Explorer? Make sure you know what you want to get out of it before you dive in.
And to your questions about whether now is the time to buy, that will depend upon your reasons for buying. Both 1 and 2 above go away or are dramatically reduced once a lot of people have Glass, so buying early is worthwhile. I’ve had two people present legitimate business opportunities to me because of our Glass conversations, and I’ve made a LOT of new connections that could turn into business in the future. Buying early did that for me, so I think I’ve gotten a good return on the investment already.
Whether you decide to buy or not, you should come to the “Google Glassians in Ohio” Meetup at our office on Tuesday, February 11:
Google Glassians in Ohio!
Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014, 5:30 PM
Innovate New Albany Center INC@8000
8000 Walton Parkway New Albany, OH
39 TechLife Columbus members Went
The group is for individuals and teams currently involved or interested in developing for Google Glass. This group is also for Google Glass users, enthusiasts and those who are simply curious to learn about this new wave of wearable technology. Google Glass Explorers, Glass & Android developers, and the interested-in-trying-it-on are welcome!Here …
Check out this Meetup →
Keep me posted on your decision!