Google’s much-hyped foray into futuristic eyewear has entered a new phase.
The Internet behemoth-turned-gadget-creator announced that it intends to distribute a prototype of "Glass," its sci-fi-like glasses product, to a crop of testers that it will select through an application contest.
Google kicked off the contest by launching a website that paints perhaps the most colorful portrait yet of the device’s features, including its design and arsenal of functions. The website also hosts a video that showcases many of Glass’ functions in action, like its video sharing and voice recognition features.
The application process for the device is remarkably simple. Applicants must describe what they would do with the device in no more than 50 words, and if they choose, complement the descriptions with up to five photos and one video (15 seconds max). Then they must post their applications either to Google Plus or Twitter, and introduce them with the hashtag #ifihadglass.
Information about Glass is available at www.google.com/glass/start/. A photo and short caption explain each of the eight functions of Glass featured on the website. All of them seem to use a mic and overlays that appear in a user’s field of vision to transmit, interpret and display information as well as create media.
Glass seems to allow a user to do the following things:
- take photos by saying "take a picture."
- record video with a field-of-vision overlay.
- share video with others as you record it.
- use a navigation overlay when traveling.
- send messages.
- use a voice-activated personal assistant (reminiscent of Apple’s Siri).
- use a translator to speak a word in a foreign language.
- get "answers without having to ask" (we don’t really understand this last one).
The website also displays photos of Glass, touting it as "strong and light" and "evolutionary."
The deadline for the contest is Feb. 27. All winners, known as "Glass Explorers," will need to shell out $1,500 for the prototype and attend a "special pick-up experience" in New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles.