According to a post from Google Glass on Google+ the day of the sale, they were selling gangbusters and were “Sold Out” by the end of the day.
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Bearing in mind that this is still the explorer program, still only available to the United States and still costs it’s hard to really think of this as anything new. By now, most people that wanted to give to Google in exchange for Glass should have had access to an invitation, they weren’t very hard to come by. I was invited twice without even putting forth an effort, knowing I couldn’t afford to pay the price of them.
So Why Do It?
It’s hard to say what Google was really thinking with this unless they’re just trying to appease the folks that had previously passed up the opportunity to get Glass before and had regretted it. It could point to the fact that they are finally at a confidence level with the product that they aren’t afraid of having a larger pool of explorers out in the wild. That would make a lot of sense paired with the new experience that they were able to give to users with the XE16 update.
When Might Consumer Glass Become A Thing?
Many earlier reports and even official word from Google themselves had pointed to a consumer release of Glass in 2014, but with April’s surge of purchases now under the belt, it’s hard to believe that Google would turn around and release a consumer edition only a few months later.
Since Google I/O is meant to be a developer conference, it’s fairly unlikely that a consumer product will be announced at that time since the Glass GDK is already available and being used by developers everywhere to add functionality to Glass as it already exists. Unless Google has some major software announcements to make for Glass, don’t expect it to be an important part of the show next month.
Earlier this year, Google announced a partnership with Luxottica, known for producing glasses for brands such as Ray-Ban, Oakley, Gucci, Armani and many more. This partnership, according to the Google+ post linked above, is meant to help bring more fashion to the Glass design. It’s unclear as to whether Luxottica will actually have a hand in designing the Glass units or just will be bringing Glass compatible designer frames to the market, but either case will be welcome to those of us who like to mix our technology with style, A La Moto 360.
Since Google only has two relatively dependable events every year and only one of them is meant for consumers, it’s not a bad guess to think that Glass might see a consumer edition (if it happens this year) in October or November when any new generation of Nexus devices might be announced, perhaps also with the “L” iteration of Android.
At the end of the day, I’m mostly speculating so don’t take my word for gospel but I’ve been following this stuff for a long time and I know that Google is fairly strategic in the way that they do things and even though their product launches in the past might contradict this statement, they don’t like pissing off their customers. So, it’s hard to say whether Glass will even become available to consumers this year and pricing is even more of a mystery. We do know however, that Google is still going to stand by their words, “Don’t be evil.”