Public gets one-day chance to get hands on Google Glass
SEATTLE -- The public had its first chance to buy a pair of Google Glass but for just one day Tuesday. Google made a limited supply available to anyone willing to plop down $1,500 for the online-only purchase.
It's the same price developers have been paying since the controversial computerized glass was made available last summer for invited buyers, except Google is throwing in a free pair of frames which normally cost $225.
Google hasn't said how many units it will be selling. Buyers should receive the glasses that have a small embedded screen over the right eye and a small computer running Android that lets users access the internet and record video.
"I think the experience people are going to have is, you are going to get stopped everyday," says Nick Starr who has been incorporating Google Glass into his daily routine since he bought a pair last June. He says he texting and finding directions are his most frequent uses.
But Starr is also known for being asked to remove his Glass by the manager of the Lost Lake Caf in Capitol Hill in November. Owner Dave Meinert garnered publicity for being one of the first business owners in the country to ban the glasses at Lost Lake and at the 5 Point Caf near Seattle Center.
"There's an expectation of some privacy when you come," says Meinert.
But Starr didn't get the message and left Lost Lake instead of removing his glasses. He made rants about his experience on social media, earning him non-too-endearing nicknames by critics of Google Glass.
He shrugs it off by praising what the technology can do if used properly. He says he doesn't record his daily interactions.
"Cameras at restaurants film us on the street and you don't know they're filming you," says Starr. "Because they're a business, do you trust them with your image and video any less than someone walking down the street with something like this?"
Despite the attention and more chances of Google Glass owners entering his cafe, Meinert says he won't be changing his policy.
"Look, people get thrown out of the 5 Point all the time for all sorts of stupid things and Google Glass will just be one more thing to add to that list of stupid things that people can get thrown out for," says Meinert.