Google Glass testers wanted: Get your application in today

February 20, 2013

Want to try Google Glass? Then it’s your lucky day. Google announced Wednesday that it’s opening up the testing program for its wearable high-tech specs to anyone, provided you can impress the company with an application and have $1,500 to spare.

The company said that it’s opening up its explorer program, which had been mainly aimed at developers, to “bold, creative” people who have strong ideas about how they want to use the new technology. According to the contest rules, Google will extend invitations to the top 8,000 applicants with the highest scores.

Applications should be short and sweet— 50 words or less— and must be submitted via Google+ or Twitter. Testing hopefuls can include up to five photos and a 15-second video in their submission , and the application must include the hashtag #ifihadglass.

Those selected must be able to pick up their devices in person in either New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles. Entries must be submitted by 2:59 a.m. Eastern on Feb. 28; contestants must be at least 18 years old.

Google also released a video showing what it’s like to actually use Glass Based on the demos in the video, which seems to be a collection of submissions from current testers, it looks like users will be able to control the Glass interface by voice — often with the command “Ok Glass!” — and with hand gestures that will let wearers choose options from the eyepiece that floats just in front of the right eye. Google’s new Web site indicates users can also fix lenses to the Google Glass, if desired. The devices will come in dark gray, light gray, white, blue and orange.

And how does Google expect people to use Glass? Well, much of the video shows users taking and sharing pictures and video, as well as video-chatting, getting heads-up display directions and, yes, doing Google searches about things around them. Videos taken through the eyes of ice skaters, roller coaster riders and pilots indicate that once Google Glass hits the open market, you can expect to see more crazy point-of-view videos pop up, since having a camera on your face is more secure than fumbling with your smartphone or conventional camera to get the right shot.

Related stories:

Wearable tech is cool, but who’s watching the iWatch?

Apple ‘iWatch’: Speculation and wish lists

Google I/O: Google Glass detailed

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Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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