Google Opens 'Glass' Project to 'Explorers' Willing to Pay $1,500

Company will sell 8,000 pairs of 'smart' goggles, likely by the end of the year.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin demonstrates Google's new Glass, wearable internet glasses, at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco, Wednesday, June 27, 2012.
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After a year of anticipation, Google has finally announced how fans will be able to get their hands on Google Glass, the futuristic goggles that function like a wearable smartphone.

Instead of lining up days before its launch, like some Apple fanatics did with early editions of the iPhone, Google has started an application process for creative "Explorers" who will get to try the first 8,000 pairs of Google Glass. The company says it's looking for "bold, creative individuals who want to join us and be a part of shaping the future of Glass."

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These "Explorers" will have to pay $1,500 for their pair of goggles, and will have to pick up their pair of goggles at a special event in San Francisco, New York, or Los Angeles. All applicants have to tell the company what they'd do with the glasses (in 50 words or less) and can submit a few photos or a short video to help illustrate how badly they're dying to get their hands on a pair. Applications are due by February 27. Winners will be selected in March.

The company released a new video to promote Glass, with various testers taking photos, performing web searches, and recording video using early versions of the glasses. The glasses apparently incorporate Android's "Google Now" feature, a voice-activated service similar to Siri. According to the company, the glasses will come in five colors (charcoal, tangerine, shale, cotton, sky).

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Though there is still no release date for the glasses (even for "Explorers,"), experts say that Explorer beta testing will probably occur later this year, with wider release likely in early 2014. The company admits that they're "still in the early stages" of developing Glass.

"We'd love to make everyone an Explorer, but we're starting off a bit smaller," the company says. "While we can't promise everything will be perfect, we can promise it will be exciting."

Last month, Babak Parviz, an engineer working on the project, said the project was "still in flux" and that the company "[hasn't] actually talked about specific features."

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