April 11, 2014— -- For only 24 hours, Google will allow anyone in the U.S. to buy Glass -- the high-tech glasses only available to testers up until now.
But Google’s one-day sale on April 15 has some critics wondering: What’s the point?
Buzz about Google Glass appears to have waned since the brand introduced its first prototype in 2011. It’s still not clear how much the general public will want a pair of smartphone specs that take photos, make calls, get directions or check Facebook -- pretty much everything your iPhone already does.
Sellers on eBay are offering the futuristic frames at discount prices. Some buy-it-now prices as low as $1,200 -- $300 off Google’s price.
In February, publicist Chris Barrett, part of Google Glass’ “Explorer” program and once an avid fan, told CNET he ditched the glasses because they were giving him constant headaches.
Prominent tech blogger Robert Scoble, also an Explorer, wrote that the project is “doomed” in a Google Plus post late last year.
He noted that even Google employees appear to have lost their enthusiasm.
“I rarely see Google employees wearing theirs anymore,” Scoble wrote. “Most say, ‘I just don’t like advertising that I work for Google.'"
Wired.com writer Matt Honan said his issue was finding a place where it felt right to wear the frames.
“I’m not wearing my $1,500 face computer on public transit where there’s a good chance it might be yanked from my face,” he wrote in an essay late last year. “I won’t wear it out to dinner, because it seems as rude as holding a phone in my hand during a meal. I won’t wear it to a bar. I won’t wear it to a movie. I can’t wear it to the playground or my kid’s school because sometimes it scares children.”
But those are all problems that fade if more people adopt Glass -- and maybe that’s what Google’s goal is with its one-day sale on Tuesday.
At least some customers are still intrigued. Several fans took to Twitter to express excitement about getting their hands on Glass.