Through the Google Glass at Midwinter

January 25, 2014

In February 2013, Google launched its Google Glass, an eyeglass-type wearable computer to developers for $1,500. These early purchasers, called “explorers” by Google, are testing the product and providing feedback on how to improve and use it before it launches broadly to the public, probably later this year.

Librarians who want to test it without the hefty entry fee have a chance at ALA Midwinter Meeting. Google set up a booth outside the registration area and invited attendees to try Glass for themselves.

Wilson White, Glass public policy manager, says that Google's mission and librarians are the same, "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible. You see the power of access."

Responding to comments about the $1,500 cost as a barrier, White said "it won't be $1,500" when the beta phase is over. "That's our goal to make that happen—that people from all walks of life can have it."

The point of the explorer program is to find new ways to use Google Glass that Google hasn't thought of. One example is of firefighter who has used it to examine vehicle designs to determine the best access for saving an accident victim.

But don't think you'll be deserting your smartphone. Google sees it as another tool in the computing world, not a replacement for a tablet, phone, or desktop.

See, hear, and read more about what’s going on at Midwinter—in real time and after. 

Twitter: @alamw and #alamw14