Ben Winters, Staff Writer
On Tuesday, April 15 at 9 a.m., Google put their revolutionary wearable technology, Google Glass, on sale to the public for the first time. Until now, the only way to get ahold of these new tech-glasses was by applying for them through the developers. Google Glass is still in its “explorer” phase that allows people from all different walks of life to go about their normal lifestyles, integrating the Glass in ways never before imaginable and sharing it with the company and the world. The feedback from these explorers will then be used to continue updating and developing the technology.
Google Glass was first released to developers in February 2013. It is an augmented reality headset that allows its users to record videos, take pictures, get directions, take notes and make reservations through voice command. It is also used in the medical industry. On June 20, 2013, Rafael J. Grossman was the first surgeon to ever use Google Glass during a live surgical procedure. It allows users to access information hands-free, so you never have to waste a hand or a second to glance, which is priceless in the operating room. It remains to be seen how extensive and widespread its uses will be.
The initial one-day sale will help gauge public opinion of the new device. The current concerns are mostly privacy-related. There are interpersonal privacy concerns based on the fact that you can secretly record someone with a simple voice command. There are also privacy concerns that reach a federal level—NSA spying, wiretapping and the whole ordeal in which Google was criticized for reading through emails for the purposes of advertising. These are all valid concerns that have been issues in the past and present, but what happens when they can “spy” on everything you see and hear? With each technological development that is better integrated into our lives, we’re bound to give up a little more privacy. But where is the middle ground when we sacrifice our privacy for the ease of technology?
As of now, the headsets start at $1,500 with an option of five colors and a number of available add-ons, including frames, sunglasses, prescription lenses and built-in headphones. Although no official sales records have been released by Google, the cotton white edition sold out relatively early in the evening. Google Glass is expected, but not confirmed, to be released more widely to the public later in 2014.