Google Glass on sale Tuesday, backlash expected

Those who choose to buy a pair of Google Glass could face a backlash if they wear them in public.
April 14, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
Google Glass is finally hitting the market, but people will only have one day to get a pair. Those who choose to buy a pair could face a backlash if they wear them in public.

It's the kind of sale that's one day, and one day only. Starting at 6 a.m. Tuesday, Google is putting a limited number of glass headsets on sale.

But the price will be steep, both in dollars and, it turns out, in hostility that early glass users are already feeling from the public.

To some, Google is the enemy. They blame the internet giant for evictions and rising rents in San Francisco.

At a Friday rally, the anger toward Google and its workers may have spilled over to one of its customers.

"A person approached me, put their hand on my face, yelled, 'glass,' and grabbed the Google Glass off my face and sprinted away," said Business Insider writer Kyle Russell.

Russell covers Google for Business Insider and was writing a story. He chased the thief, and then watched in horror.

"The person pivoted, shifted their weight and just overhand smashed Glass into the ground," he said.

He pieced it back together, but it doesn't work. So, he published a story about it, which unleashed a firestorm.

"People said that, you know, 'what do you think was going to happen? That's a symbol for Google and gentrification and rising rents and you deserved that as for flaunting that,'" he said.

Add that to the list of reasons Glass is surrounded in controversy, says CNET writer Seth Rosenblatt.

"Seventy-two percent of Americans don't want to buy Google Glass. They're concerned about privacy, they're concerned about potential invasiveness," he said.

Tuesday, Google is opening up sales to anyone in the United States. The cost will be $1,500, with or without, prescription frames and will be the Explorer Edition that is meant for developers.

"Personally, I think they're doing it to clear out stock. We know that there is an updated version of Google Glass coming," said Rosenblatt.

That could be later this year, so the sale is for those who just can't wait.

Russell has done some thinking and says he may sit this one out.

"I don't want to be assaulted again, and I don't want to look like I'm putting off some kind of, I don't know, ostentatiousness by wearing it," he said.

Google says they expect to sell out of the product.


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