A Sale and An Update: Google Glass Has a Big Week

Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tedconference/

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Glass is usually only available to certain people who have applied and have been approved to buy the device through the Google Explorer Program.

But Tuesday, for one day only, Google opened up the sale of Glass to anyone in the United States who was at least 18 years of age with $1,500 to spare. The sale started at 9 a.m. Eastern Time and lasted until midnight. The event seems to have been a success, as the “Cotton” white color of Glass sold out in a matter of hours, and, according to a post on the Glass’s Google+ page, things were “moving really fast.”

Shortly after midnight, Google posted this update: “Welcome to our new Explorers! All spots in the Explorer Program have been claimed for now, but if you missed it this time, don’t worry. We’ll be trying new ways to expand the Explorer program in the future. You can sign up below to stay updated. That’s all for now, folks.”

If you indeed missed the opportunity and still want to get your hands (and eyes) on Glass, you can try to buy it at the Glass Store or fill out a form here to be alerted when more devices become available for sale. Even if you didn’t buy Glass on Tuesday, the fact that Google expanded the sale of the device to the general public hints at a wider release in the future. Whether that will happen sooner or later remains to be seen.

For the uninitiated, Google Glass is a tiny computer that you wear on a pair of glasses. The display is then projected onto one of the lenses in the glasses, and you enter commands either by speaking them in natural language or by using buttons on the side of the device. It also has an earbud that lets you hear things like driving directions, music, and replies to your queries.

This week, Google Glass also received a major software update that brings it up to the current version of the Android operating system, Kit Kat. The update is supposed to improve the device’s battery life and let developers use the latest development kit for their Glass apps. The way Glass handles photos has also been improved. According to Google, “This one has been a long-standing request from our Explorers: now when you scroll through your timeline, your photos, videos and vignettes from each day will be organized in bundles so that you can swipe less and see more.” The company has also made a significant update to the voice command prompts.

Since Google Glass is a wearable computer that could be recording audio and video at any time, it’s going to take a while before the general public gets used to it. To help ease its acceptance, Google has issued a list of do’s and don’ts that gives wearers some basic guidelines about how to act (including the phrase “Don’t be creepy”).

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