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Google chooses thousands as Glass 'Explorers'

#ifihadglass project pulls in testers for computerized glasses

Google today began informing the testers it has selected to try out its Glass computerized eyewear.

The company announced that it will reach out to "several thousand" people through Twitter and its Google+ social network to take part in what Google is calling its Explorer project.

Google's Project Glass has users wearing augmented reality glasses. (Image: Google)

"A few weeks ago we revealed that we were seeking Explorers to help us shape the future of Glass," the company said in a Google+ post. "To do that, we asked people across Google+ and Twitter to tell us what they would do #ifihadglass ... There were so many creative, diverse, and (sometimes) crazy applications. We've certainly learned a lot through this whole process and it's inspiring to hear how much passion there is for Glass."

Google's Glass, which is still in development, is a wearable computer. The computerized eyeglasses, which have a transparent display over the right lens, are designed to enable users to take photos, shoot video, search the Web, send email and share images and info across social networks. Glass can be controlled by voice, touch and gesture.

Last month, Google put out a call for volunteers to test Glass and to tell developers what they would do with them.

On Tuesday night, the Project Glass team contacted Shannon Rooney to ask her to become an official Explorer. Rooney said she would use Glass to travel to Japan and help her grandmother re-experience her homeland without leaving her house in the U.S. She wrote on Google+ that she doesn't have many details yet.

Another explorer will be a woman who wants to use Glass at a Veterans Administration hospital to help veterans see their war memorials. A third explorer said he would use Glass to improve doctor-patient interaction for clinical trials.

Those selected will pay $1,500 for the glasses, plus travel expenses to attend a special "pick-up experience" in New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her email address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

See more by Sharon Gaudin on Computerworld.com.

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