Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) has finally opened its beta project for Google Glass, making Glass available to anyone in the United States looking to buy a $1,500 wearable computer.
Glass was initially available only to developers, but Google slowly expanded the program to the public. Last month, the company put a limited stock of Glass on sale for a single day. The company sold out of the white, or "cotton" colored, Glass in mere hours and filled up all available spots in the Explorer Program of testers.
In a Google+ post, Google said Glass will still remain in the Explorer program while the company continues to modify hardware and software. Those who join the Explorer community will help Google engineers perfect the wearable technology. The Explorer Program was introduced in 2012.
"We learned a lot when we opened our site a few weeks ago, so we've decided to move to a more open beta," the company wrote in a blog post. Supplies for the prototype are limited.
News of Google Glass' public debut follows Google's first retail display for the specs during The Players Championship, a PGA golf tournament last week in Florida. This marked the first time Google sold the wearable computers in a public, face-to-face setting.
Going forward, Google in March announced a partnership with the Luxottica Group, owner of the Sunglass Hut, Ray-Ban and Oakley sunglass brands to design and distribute a new kind of eyewear for Google Glass. Luxottica has more than 5,000 retail stores in the U.S. The deal with Luxottica is important for Google because it gives the company big-name backing in the eyewear industry, an important factor if Google Glass products want to compete in the general consumer market.
The wearables market is picking up steam, and credibility. Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has corralled wearable devices including health and fitness trackers and personal cameras such as GoPro's, into a single online store. All this, before the first Google watch hits the market.
-See this Google+ post
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