Google Glass, smart glasses under development by Google, are seen in an undated handout picture released February 20, 2013. As shown in a YouTube video uploaded by Google, the glasses feature a small, translucent square in the top right of the field of view which provides an interface to features such as map directions and photography. (HANDOUT/REUTERS)

Techies, watch your inboxes. Google has started notifying some lucky contest winners that they will be receiving Google Glass headsets before the company begins selling them to the general public.

Google has yet to release a retail date for the headsets — expected by the end of the year — but did promise in February that it would give 8,000 people a chance to try the device.

Contest entrants had to tell Google what they would do “#ifihadglass” and agree to pay $1,500 for the privilege of an early look.

The company announced just a handful of its contest winners and their intentions for their new headsets. The winners include:

• Sarah Hill of Columbia, Mo., who told the company she would use the device to show the National World War II Memorial to veterans in her local VA hospital.

“We are losing one WWII veteran every 90 seconds and most won’t live long enough to see their memorials,” wrote Hill, who works for a veterans’ support network.

• Herschel Taghap of Seattle said he will use Glass to give people a glimpse of what “being thrown into a restaurant line on a busy Saturday night really feels like.”

Shannon Rooney said she would use the device to take her grandmother on a virtual trip to Japan to fulfill her “dream of going back to her homeland without leaving her house.”

• Max Wood of Gray, Ga., a firefighter, told the company he would use Glass to improve firefighter safety by providing firefighters with pre-fire planning maps and giving them instructions via real-time video feeds during emergencies.

Google said that it will be contacting “several thousand people” through Twitter and Google+ over the next few days to invite them to its early “Explorer” program.

Winners, in addition to paying the $1,500 fee, will also have to pick up their devices in person in New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles.

Related stories:

Google Glass testers wanted: Get your application in today

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

Google I/O: Google Glass detailed

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