Google opened the doors to the general public on Tuesday to its Glass Explorer program with a limited number of Glass available for sale.
Previously the Glass Explorer program had only been open to developers in May 2013. It was then expanded to include a wider cross-section of users who applied to be part of its Explorer program in Fall 2013. Until April 15, 2014, Glass distribution was still limited by invitation-only from Google based on interest in its Explorer program.
Glass mounts onto an eyeglass frame and is Google’s step into wearable computing. Ascedia has been developing apps for Glass since May 2013 after receiving one of the first shipments of Glass.
“After I became a Google Glass Explorer and received my Glass, I knew this could change the way information was presented to users in real time,” said Dustin Halyburton, vice president of innovation for Ascedia. “Although it’s only a one-day sale, adding a greater variety of users to the Glass Explorer community will help increase feedback and ultimately the direction of the device.”
With Glass Explorer open to more users, Halyburton believes it will be helpful to bring greater awareness that the device is not always on or recording, limiting its privacy risk to the current level provided by smartphone usage.
In December, Ascedia launched its Weather Alert app for Google Glass, which was one of the first 35 Glassware apps available through the MyGlass app and currently has 10,000+ users.
“We began brainstorming ideas for apps that almost all users could use,” said Halyburton. “With the severe weather much of the country experiences throughout the spring, we decided to bring Weather Alerts to Glass.”
Weather Alert keeps you informed about approaching severe weather by sending real time alerts, which are mapped to affected areas and color coded by severity, directly to a user’s Glass. The app allows the user to choose from over 120 different types of alerts, including tornado warnings, air quality and storm warnings.
Following the launch of the Weather Alert app, Halyburton and his development team continue to explore possibilities for the next iteration of Glass, including a native app.