First Steps to Getting Google Glass and Being a Part of Phase Two of the Explorer Program


Joe Stirt, an original Glass Explorer program participant, recently received three invitations he could share; he gave me one. That invite entitled me to purchase a second generation Google Glass device for $1500. Is the tech compelling enough for me to pay to be a beta tester for an unfinished product? I sure hope so — because I mine arrived tonight! google-glass-invite-2As Perry mentioned when he first wrote about Google Glass, this is Google’s attempt to make a “mainstream, mobile, wearable computer. What better place to hide one than right in front of your eyes? You see, Google Glass is an innovative pair of glasses. They’re not prescription, and they don’t have standard lenses, but they do provide you with a wealth of useful information as you go about your daily life.” Watch this, and then tell me if you aren’t even just a little bit intrigued …

Evidently Google started by inviting around 10,000 people to join their Explorer Program. That’s 10,000 people in the world, mind you (albeit they all must be located in the US to purchase and participate, at least initially). And if those 10,000 people all invite 3 people, and all 30,000 of those invited decide to throw down and purchase Glass, then there will only be ~40,000 people in the world with this technology. That’s kind of a fun group to be in.

I asked Joe if he had paid for his, because at first I wasn’t sure if that was always the case. His reply?

Yes, I paid $1,500. Plus $160 tax = $1,660.

But wait, there’s more!

I had to go to a Google office to pick mine up: SF, LA, or NYC.

I went to NYC.

Round trip air fare from Charlottesville (same day in/out) = $940.

But wait, there’s more!

Delta cancelled my flight home Friday night with two hours notice due to thunderstorms in NYC.

So I had to book a room: at The Standard Hotel, walking distance from Google’s offices: $320.

Not to mention Uber fare to and from La Guardia: another $100.

So my Glass cost, in fact, $3,020.

Yours is cheap by comparison.


Now think about this … if all 10,000 of the original Explorer’s paid $1500 to join the program (which I believe is the case), then that was $15,000,000 straight to Google. Annnnnnd if each of those 10,000 initial Explorers invites 3 people, and all 30,000 of those people buy into Glass, that would be an additional $45,000,000 straight to Google. Let that sink in for just a minute. Assuming all Explorer Program members paid to join, that’s 60 MILLION DOLLARS paid for a product before it is even available to the general public. That’s crazy money … and I hope it is all being used for Glass hardware and software development.

Joe says:

To Google that’s chump change: not even a rounding error. To you and me, crazy money, true enough…

But there are billions of dollars of profit in the pipeline here over the not that long term…

But I digress.

I’ll write about the hardware and my impressions in the upcoming days, but I figured that it would be good to start with the ordering process.


Glass is available in four colors. I was tempted to get the white or the blue, but in the end I figured that Chrcoal (nearly black) would go with everything.

google glass colors

I don’t think that I have ever seen someone wearing Glass with any kind of lenses installed; Google Glass comes with a pair of “active shaded” lenses.


Other options include an extra mono earbud, a clear shield, an extra cable and charger, and an extra pouch. When I placed my Glass order, the only option in stock was the clear shield, so I went ahead and bought one.


Here’s a better look at those accessories …

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Before you can complete your purchase, you have to agree to the Terms of Sale. terms of service agreement This is one of those times when it probably would be for the best to actually read the terms.

Resale and Gifts You may not commercially resell any Device, but you may give the Device as a gift, unless otherwise set forth in the Device Specific Addendum. Recipients of gifts may need to open and maintain a Google Wallet account in order to receive support from Google. These Terms will also apply to any gift recipient

And this …

Glass Explorer Edition This Device Specific Addendum only applies if you purchase a Glass Explorer Edition Device. You must be 18 years or older, a resident of the United States, and authorized by Google as part of the Glass Explorer program in order to purchase or use Glass Explorer Edition. Unless otherwise authorized by Google, you may only purchase one Device, and you may not resell, rent, or lease your Device to any other person. If you resell, rent, or lease your Device to any other person without Google’s authorization, Google reserves the right to deactivate the Device, and neither you nor the unauthorized person using the Device will be entitled to any refund, product support, or product warranty.

Okay! So if I hate them, my beta Glass will not be going on eBay. This was a little freaky; remember the uproar when Amazon went on people’s Kindles and mysteriously removed George Orwell’s book 1984 without those people’s knowledge or consent? Check out the middle section of the terms, highlighted by me.

Software and Services You may only use your consumer Google account on Glass, unless otherwise authorized by Google. You may be able to enable Glass services on the Device through the MyGlass interface. These Glass services may be developed by Google or third parties, and may have the ability to read and modify your private data. From time to time, Glass may check with remote servers (hosted by Google or by third parties) for available updates to both the Glass software and any Glass services you have enabled, including but not limited to bug fixes or enhanced functionality. You agree that such updates will be automatically requested, downloaded, and installed without further notice to you.

From time to time, Google may discover a Glass service that violates Google developer terms or other legal agreements, laws, regulations or policies. Glass will periodically download a list of such Glass services from Google’s servers. You agree that Google may remotely disable or remove any such Glass service from user systems in its sole discretion.

Your use of any Glass services provided by Google, unless otherwise indicated, is subject to the terms of service at Your use of any Glass services provided by a third party may be subject to terms provided to you by the third party. If you install or enable any software or services on the Device through any means other than the MyGlass interface or otherwise authorized by Google, or make unauthorized alterations to the Glass software or Glass services: (i) you will no longer be eligible to receive any customer or technical support from Google for your Device, and (ii) the limited product warranty is void and no longer applies to your Device.

Oh well; it’s new technology, and I understand they want to keep a tight handle on it. On to my total …


Gulp. UPS just showed up at my door and delivered my Glasses. This should be interesting … and fun. =)

google glass

Be sure to check out my next post, Unboxing and Getting Set Up with Google Glass Explorer Edition.

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.

6 Comments on "First Steps to Getting Google Glass and Being a Part of Phase Two of the Explorer Program"

  1. Hmmm, someone’s gonna be lighting the Menorah soon with Google Glass on

  2. I love how you get stuff up in real time. Impressive.

  3. I can’t wait to hear your impressions. Must be crazy walking around with your own personal heads-up-display.

  4. It is! Mind you it was after dark last night when they arrived, and I haven’t done a lot of walking around yet today, but it is definitely an experience.

    I’m happy that it has the sunshade that can just pop on to the nosepiece when you’re outside. I doubt that they will make Glass look any more incognito, but they might disguise them a little bit. At least at first glance they will be similar to 1980’s Gargoyles!


    Oh heck … I’m kidding myself. 😉

  5. Good(?) news! Google will no longer disable resold Glasses.

  6. I’m sure that will be welcome news for some. =)

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