Google Glass is now available to buy for anyone in the US - but you might want to think carefully before you do.
As many of you will likely know, I am a Google Glass explorer, and have been for a little while now. I really love my Glass and i've had great fun with them, but there's a few things to consider before you buy.
- OK, they are available to buy for everyone. But they are still $1500. Glass is priced like a research project, where the physical cost doesn't relate to much to the cost of manufacturing the item, or the eventual cost in the marketplace for a consumer release. If - like me - you have a business use for the device then that is a little bit different, but they are overpriced.
- Glass is not durable. Sure, the frame is a bit bendy and they're not super fragile, but the prism in particular can be damaged pretty easily. Google's warranty support is very good, but you should ideally be pretty gentle with Glass.
- The software is improving, but not finished. The update to KitKat has made a big difference to overall performance (and battery life is improved a little), but Glass is still a little unstable at times, can get hot and some of the features work better than others. Voice dictation for example, an integral feature of Glass, is still a bit shaky in places. Glass does some very cool stuff, but the frequency of revisions and feature changes should tell you a lot.
- The hardware is relatively old tech now, the consumer version will change a lot. Glass runs on a pretty old TI OMAP processor which is a lot less efficient (and performant) than today's CPUs. It doesn't matter too much for what it is, but the consumer version will be a lot quicker and more power efficient, not to mention it will probably be further compacted into a more commercially viable design.
- Be ready to be asked lots of questions. Don't buy Glass if you are a shrinking violet, unless you're really ready to come out of your shell! You'll get asked a lot of questions, demo a lot and generally get a lot of attention.
Lots of things to consider before you decide to buy but... despite all the above, i've had a great experience with Glass. I'm not a mega outgoing person, but the last point has actually been quite refreshing - i've enjoyed demoing Glass and talking to people about it, you might too.
I still wouldn't be surprised to see a more commercial product by the end of the year (a wider release and a new design), so that's something to bear in mind before you splash the cash - a free upgrade to a new model is far from assured.
If you are joining the Explorer family, or if i've put you off (sorry!), please comment on this post! :)
Oh, one other thing... people will call you a Glasshole and think they're funny...
You can order Google Glass from https://glass.google.com/getglass/