AD Header Dropdowns

AD Main Menu

Want to test prototype 'Google glasses'? Get your wallet.

Matthew ShaerThe Christian Science Monitor

At some point in the next year or so – smart money is on 2014 – Google will officially launch a pair of "smart" eyeglasses.

The device, which is currently being tested under the name Project Glass, employs embedded computers to create an augmented reality environment for the user. For instance, your Google glasses would allow you to turn your eyes toward a nearby store, and scroll through a listing of reviews on your heads-up display; alternatively, you might scroll through your emails without once reaching down to dig your smartphone out of your pocket.

Until recently, Google was confining its tests of Project Glass to a select group of developers and employees, including Sergey Brin, who took his glasses on a ride through the New York City subway. But now the Mountain View company is opening up the field to the rest of us ordinary Joes.

"We’re looking for bold, creative individuals who want to join us and be a part of shaping the future of Glass," Google reps wrote this week on the new Project Glass Website. "We’d love to make everyone an Explorer, but we’re starting off a bit smaller. We’re still in the early stages, and while we can’t promise everything will be perfect, we can promise it will be exciting."

Until February 27, Google is allowing folks to apply via Twitter or Google+ for a chance to wear the glasses (short videos and up to five photos welcome, and don't forget the #ifihadglass hashtag). But here's the catch: If you are selected, you'll have to fork over $1,500, plus tax, in order to pick up your test device and attend "a special pick-up experience" in New York, Los Angeles, or San Francisco.

And if you don't live in one of those cities, you'll have to pay to travel, too.