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Google Glasses to start consumer trials

21 Feb 2013

Google has begun looking for consumers to test out how its heads-up augmented reality display technology, Glasses, could be used in the real world.

Google is currently taking applications from consumers who want to take part in a trial programme for the augmented reality glasses. Early models of Glasses were previously only available to developers interested in the platform.

"We're looking for bold, creative individuals who want to join us and be a part of shaping the future of Glass," wrote Google in a posting on the announcement.

"Glass is still in the early stages, so we expect there will be some twists and turns along the way. While we can't promise everything will be perfect, we can promise it will be exciting."

Those interested in becoming part of Google's Glass Explorer programme are encouraged to send out applications explaining what they'd do with the device through Twitter or Google+. Users are asked to send out their application with the hashtag #ifihadglass.

Guidelines state that applications can be no longer than 50 words, offer no more than five pictures, and a single fifteen second video clip. Only English language applications are currently being accepted.

About 8,000 Google Glasses will be awarded through the programme. Those who are awarded the devices have to pay $1,500 to purchase the glasses and pick them up at a designated Google location. Locations will be based in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York.

Google Glasses are spectacles that augment a user's reality by displaying information gathered from Google. The devices can do things like use facial recognition to display people's social networking profile and display directions through the eyewear.

Google has been offering application developers copies of the devices since late last year.

Google's Project Glass was first unveiled at Google I/O last April, introduced with a skydiving demonstration with divers wearing the devices.

It has become common practice for Google to offer early editions of its products to consumers.

For example, early editions of Google's Chromebooks were often considered experimental by commentators. The platform was so slow to get out of the gate, however, many OEM's are beginning to use the platform for to make versions of the device.

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James Dohnert

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club,, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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