April 15 - Google Glass goes on sale to the public for the first time Tuesday, but for just one day. Analysts say the one-day availability fits into Google's strategy of trying to correct past missteps as it prepares for a widespread launch. Lily Jamali reports.
No one said getting a pair of Google Glasses would be cheap. They're 15-00 bucks. But on Tuesday, for one day, anyone in the U.S. willing to plunk down the cash could buy a pair off Google's website. Mashable's Chief Correspondent Lance Ulanoff says the sale comes at a critical moment for Glass, which so far has only been available to a small group of developers and other so-called "Glass Explorers". So why limit the sale to just one day? SOUNDBITE: LANCE ULANOFF, CHIEF CORRESPONDENT/EDITOR-AT-LARGE, MASHABLE (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It generates some excitement. Right now, Google Glass is a really esoteric device that some people have seen, they've heard about it. They haven't had a chance to touch it. They're starting to misunderstand it. I think that's Google big concern." Since it was first unveiled to the public in 2012, Glass has also been plagued by concerns about privacy. That prompted the release of its Glass etiquette guide earlier this year - complete with rules like "Ask for permission" and "Don't be creepy or rude... aka a 'glasshole'". Ulanoff says by broadening the product's user base, even if ever so slightly, Tuesday's sale allows Google to hit the reset button. SOUNDBITE: LANCE ULANOFF, CHIEF CORRESPONDENT/EDITOR-AT-LARGE, MASHABLE (ENGLISH) SAYING: "They really want people in professions and walks of life where maybe they can give people the perspective to someone else that can be useful. It can help other people for training or to tell a story. I think that's what they're looking for. I've run into a lot of people who haven't had access to it before." The company is expected to roll out Glass to the public later this year. It's already forged relationships with the world's largest eyeglass manufacturer Luxottica and the vision insurance provider VSP. IDC research analyst Ramon Llamas says this one-day sale is part of prolonged beta testing, which gives Google time to understand what the consumer wants. SOUNDBITE: RAMON LLAMAS, RESEARCH ANALYST, IDC (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Reaching out to some of the other companies, VSP, Luxottica, to put together a different kind of hardware and different kinds of looks - I think Google is taking not a one-size-fits-all but multiple sizes and multiple styles are going to be more suitable for more people." Llamas expects shipments of wearables to reach about 20 million units by the end of the year. He says Glass is good for all wearables. SOUNDBITE: RAMON LLAMAS, RESEARCH ANALYST, IDC (ENGLISH) SAYING: "I think if anything, at the very least this is going to keep wearables in the common conversation. We already have things like fit bits, Nike fuel bands and jawbone. You got smart watches that go on your other wrist and clip on, what have you. And this is going to help draw attention to that entire category." But some analysts say while the publicity is good, the high cost might still be prohibitive. And they expect Google Glass could go for half its current 15-00 dollar price tag before it hits store shelves.