If you want a pair of Google Glass, better start cozying up to the nearest glasshole because, just like they did in the early days of Gmail, Google has instituted an invite-only policy, granting current Glass owners the power to share the magic of face-computing with a lucky friend. The 1,500 or so Glass owners out there have started receiving the email screen shotted to the right, with that powerful "Invite a Friend" button at the bottom. At this point, that's the only way to get a pair of Glass for those who did not get selected through the #IfIHadGlass Twitter competition earlier this year. So, for those who'd like to join the tribe, now's the time to vie for the affections of a current Glass owner. Otherwise, you'll have to wait until around April 2014 to shell out $1,500 to take pictures with no hands.
The whole thing fits in quite well with Google's already incredibly effective viral marketing campaign for Glass. Keeping Glass exclusive and coveted gives the device cachet. The invite program lets Google do that while simultaneously building its customer base. Not only does that mean higher sales, but it gets more glasses out there, which helps normal people get used to seeing more robot-looking people around. It also lets Google keep it in Beta mode, while it figures out how to ban porn and maintain the right level of privacy, before releasing it to the general public. Meanwhile Google gets to have its evangelists and biggest fans market the product to the exact right demographic for free.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.