Have you ever wanted to become an “Explorer,” lionized for your digital omnipotence and technophilic ostentatiousness? I’m referring, of course, to Google Glass owners. Well, if you’re lucky enough to know one, you may be able to snag a pair of your own: Google’s begun a broader, referral-based rollout of venerable heads-up computer.
Yesterday, Google began sending e-mails to current Glass owners explaining the expansion of the Explorer program. Here’s how it works: Google Glass Explorers can invite any friend, family, or acquaintance to purchase a pair. The price remains $1,500, and restrictions apply: the lucky individual must be a U.S. resident, 18 years or older, and be able to pick up Glass in person at one of Google’s Glass support centers in San Francisco, New York, or Los Angeles.
This marks the first time in months that Google has expanded the availability of Glass. The company first began accepting orders at last year’s Google I/O, when attendees had an opportunity to purchase a limited (5000) number of units. Then, earlier this year, Google hosted #ifihadglass, a contest which provided non-developers a chance to buy Glass by describing how the headset would change aspects of their daily life.
Google’s extension of the Glass program to potentially thousands is both a measure of how popular the beta device has become, and an indication of how the search giant intends to proceed with Glass going forward. With an official release in months, reportedly, Google’s relying on exclusivity and word of mouth to maintain a high level interest. It’s probably safe to say that it’s succeeding.