With none of the fanfare of last week's one-day sale, Google made its Glass smartglasses available for sale to the general public on Thursday. The $1500 Explorer edition is now available on a special shopping page--and, quite frankly, it's simultaneously reassuring and disorienting to see the wearable being sold online like a common piece of consumer-tech hardware, albeit an extremely expensive one.
On one side, it's great that Google has lifted its exclusivity requirements, once and for all. Until last week's one-day sale, the only way to score Glass was by invitation, by recommendation of an existing Glass user, or by proving your case, as it were, to the Google Gods. But now any non-techie plebeian can buy Glass. This speaks well for the democratization of technology--at least for would-be Glass users who can afford democracy's $1500 membership fee.
Still, simply seeing Glass on a shopping page with a big, old "Add to Cart" button next to it is somewhat... deflating? Somehow, if only in a very subtle way, Glass loses a bit of luster now that Google has exposed it via a common online shopping engine.
Step One: Select your color. Step Two: Pick your frames or shades (all the Titanium Edition ones are available). Step Three: Add to cart and check out. Sigh. It reminds me of yesterday when I bought the Fur-Zoff Pet Hair Remover from Amazon.