Gadgets

Google Glass is now ‘try before you buy’

Image Credit: Flickr/Ted Eytan

Google is trying to make “fetch” happen.

And by “fetch,” we mean making Glass appear like a normal fashion accessory. That’s what Google is trying to do with its new “try-on kit” program for potential Glass owners.

Apparently, Google is now permitting potential Glass owners to order a kit containing “all frame styles and four colors” for free before deciding which one (if any) they’d like to order, according to an email posted on Reddit that 9to5Google noticed. It’s free, but you do need to approve a temporary $50 hold on your credit card.

This is like ordering clothes or shoes online and returning them if they don’t fit properly.

Or like eyeglass company Warby Parker’s business model, which sends customers five pairs of their choice to try on before selecting the one they want.

You can’t actually use these units — these are strictly for checking out whether the fashion fits your face. They are actually real Google Glass devices, but they’ve been disabled so they don’t function. The Reddit community member who posted the email also pointed out that the USB charging ports were destroyed, likely to prevent people from using them during the trial or being tempted to keep them.

That’s a bit like the way Warby Parker does things, too, by sending out its sample frames with nonprescription lenses.

So in short, it looks like Google is attempting to pass Glass off as an absolutely normal fashion item we can all shop for, just as we do for pants, shoes, and glasses.

And with good reason: Google Glass has been at the center of a lot of controversy surrounding the social tensions in San Francisco between the tech community and the rest of the city lately, even resulting in a few recent incidents of aggression toward Glass wearers.

Since Glass is obviously not quite “socially acceptable” yet, this could be yet another small attempt at making it seem … normal.

Back in February, Google posted a friendly list of “dos and don’ts” for Glass Explorers, a first step in combating the anti-social aura of Glass.

Then Google also opened up the sale of Glass to anyone in the U.S. earlier this week for a single day — normally, one needs to apply first — likely in a further effort to get in the hands of as many kinds of people as possible, although that’s still limiting given the high $1,500 price.

Google is trying so hard to make “Glass” happen.

But whether Glass it will succeed still remains to be seen. “Fetch” couldn’t happen, so Glass might have a steep mountain to “normal” to climb.

More information:

Google's innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major glob... read more »

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