The Explorer Program is Google’s current beta testing system where interested parties that purchase Glass are given direct support from Google and asked to provide feedback as the device develops. Although the program is wide open in the US to anyone that wants to join, the device still hasn’t officially launched to consumers. That may happen later this year, though Sergey Brin recently expressed uncertainty on that timing.
Joining the Explorer Program comes with a price: In the UK, Glass costs £1,000, which converts today to about $1,700 US dollars. That’s $200 more than the $1,500 entry to join the US Explorer Program. (The various accessories that Google offers, like earbuds and shades, are also slightly more expensive for UK Explorers.)
To help get UK Explorers started, Google is offering a demo event this weekend in London.
Today’s news may represent a change of heart for Google. Late last summer while Google officials took Glass around to several European nations to meet with government officials and journalists, the company reportedly said that there were no plans to expand the Explorer program outside the US.
The UK expansion news was expected to be announced later this week during I/O, so this could be setting the stage for some other Glass-related announcements during the conference. Or, it could mean that Google wanted to clear this announcement off its to do list now to focus on non-Glass announcements later this week.
Meanwhile, back in the US, a new collection of Glass frames and shades for ladies from Diane Von Furstenberg went on sale today.
(Stock image via Shutterstock.com. Used under license.)