Today’s the day you can try to buy Google Glass – if you dare

For the first time ever, Google is today making its controversial Glass more widely available to the masses, provided you’re a US resident with a US shipping address, and you’ve got $1500 to spare. The official “how to get one” Google page is inviting new applicants to apply to purchase Glass and become an ‘Explorer’, “if a spot opens up”.

That’s if you’re brave enough, since there have been alarming reports over the last few days regarding seemingly unprovoked attacks on explorers wearing Google Glass.

San Francisco is at the epicenter of this, and it’s highly likely that the attacks are emotionally linked to the wider protests about the influx of people working for the tech companies headquartered down the road in Silicon Valley. According to the latest report in the SF Chronicle, a magazine journalist covering the ongoing street protests about “tech-fueled gentrification” had Glass ripped from his face and smashed.

Journalist Kyle Russell’s own account blamed the incident on wearing Glass in the wrong part of San Francisco“. It’s a similar story to the reports in February of a woman whose Glass was torn from her face in a San Francisco bar.

Kyle Russell before the attack (photo credit: Karyne Levy/Business Insider)

This is the latest in a series of extraordinary reactions to Glass, the wearable technology that has caused the most controversy of all. So far we’ve had a woman in California given a citation for driving while wearing Glass (but subsequently cleared) and, up in Seattle, the owner of a cafe bar popular with geeks actually banning people from wearing Glass on the premises. With around 10,000 Glass wearers now exploring the world, this is a phenomenon that is bound to become amplified in the coming months.

Perhaps this is where short- and long-sighted people actually have an advantage, since the range of actual spectacle frames with built-in Glass, although still geeky, are less noticeable, as noted in this earlier post.

Explorers, have you been threatened for wearing Glass? Let us know!

/WTW

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