Google is allowing potential Explorers to try Glass before they shell out the $1,500 to actually buy the device, according to a Reddit user by the name of clide. He posted various images of a home try-on kit, as well as the above email he received from the Glass customer support representatives.
Spencer Kleyweg of GoogleGlassFans called the above number and received the following information about the program:
What You Get
- Non-functioning Google Glass devices in Charcoal, Tangerine, Shale, and Sky
- All of the frames in the Titanium Collection in different colors
What You Need To Know
When ordering the Home Try-On Kit, Google will place a $50 hold on your credit card until they receive the kit back within 10 days. Google provides prepaid shipping labels, so you don’t have to worry about paying to ship them back.
The actual try-on kit itself is composed of returned Glass units. The units are all in relatively good cosmetic shape, though they aren’t supposed to power on. The USB port has been destroyed to keep the devices from being powered up and used — the try-on program is exclusively to give potential Explorers an idea of how Glass will feel, as well as what color and frame style they would prefer. Despite this, some of the units would power up, though they wouldn’t boot into the OS.
While this unit’s display was functional, other units weren’t. Google doesn’t want these devices to be functional, thus tempting people to keep more than $6,000 worth of technology for a single $50 payment.
It is interesting that Google is resorting to intentionally destroying what might have been otherwise usable devices in order to get them into the hands of more people.
The packaging for the try-on program is simple, though it offers protection to each Glass unit. Postage is paid by Google, so you don’t have to worry about that.
Ultimately, it seems that the process is very similar to that of Warby Parker’s, an online retailer of eyewear that offers a similar home try-on program.
The USB port of each unit is destroyed, thus making the device impossible to charge or interact with via a computer.
Presumably, anyone that calls the number in the above email could sign up for this program, though space is likely very limited. Google may also cancel the program if it is abused.
Update: There have have been mixed reports of success in calling the number. While some early callers did successfully request a try-on kit, later callers appear to have been asked for an invitation. Google’s policy likely changed as a result of numerous calls.
Google Glass is expected to be released later this year for less than the current $1,500 Explorer price. The Explorer edition of Glass went on sale to anyone interested on April 15th, but was quickly sold out.