Despite being stupid, overpriced, and overhyped, Google Glass it still holds thrall over certain members of the general public. But hey, if you’re dumb enough to shell out $1,500 for the “privilege” of being an “explorer” with what, gods willing, will turn out to be the next Nintendo Virtual Boy, have at it. Now, however, Google Glass is actually doing something good for humanity—while still doing its best to turn people into the Borg.
“Giving Through Glass”
Through their “Giving Through Glass” program, Google has chosen five nonprofit charities to receive a pair of the wifi-enabled, privacy-eroding eyewear, along with a $25,000 grant. As Google is a multi-billion dollar company, and there were over 1,300 applications to the program, you’d think the tech giant could’ve parted with a few more than five sets of specs and $125,000, but it’s for charity, so I guess one can’t complain too hard.
Charities submitted proposals on how they would use Google Glass to achieve their goals. The winners are already turning those proposals into reality. “Developers are already working with these inspiring groups, and next week these five nonprofits will descend on Google Glass Base Camp in San Francisco for training,” said Google.org director Jacquelline Fuller in a blog post.
The phrase “Google Glass Base Camp” somehow makes the already-staggeringly-pretentious product even more pretentious, so well done, Ms. Fuller.
Google Glass may be the worst new product development since Crystal Pepsi, but the winning charities selected by Google have some very interesting plans for using the device. One group, Classroom Champions, of Jacksonville, Fla., will use the technology to let students see life through the eyes of Paralympic athletes.
Another, Women’s Audio Mission in San Francisco (Google’s backyard—is there such a thing as geographical nepotism?), will create music- and media-based learning programs for women. 3,000 Miles to A Cure, from Lumberton, North Carolina, will use Google Glass to relay information to riders in a cross-country bicycle race to raise money and awareness for brain cancer research.
New York’s Mark Morris Dance Group will utilize Google Glass to create dance-based tools for those with Parkinson’s disease. And the Hearing and Speech Agency, of Baltimore, Maryland, will use the device to develop new ways to help those with communication disabilities and difficulties.