Despite reports that the Google Glass headsets are only a prototype, Google co-founder Sergey Brin stated last week that he hopes Glass will be available to consumers by next year. It looks as if Brin's timetable is on schedule, as Google has recently been conducting marketing research for the devices.
Xavier Lanier over at GottaBeMobile is reporting that Google has been setting up booths at San Francisco street fairs and giving the public the chance to try out the cutting-edge technology. Lanier found one of the booths at the Union Street fair and quizzed the booth attendant on what was inside the tent, but was told he could only go in if he "qualified." From Lanier:
I chatted briefly with a couple of survey participants who were milling around. They told me Google made them agree not to talk about the survey or what they saw, but the product “lets people see stuff and take photos like…in a really cool way.”
The screening survey included questions about outdoor physical activities, numbers of social network followers, technology buying habits, and phone platform use. From the questions, it appears that Google is trying to get away from the tech-geek crowd, who generally have a "love it or hate it" attitude toward the device. I suppose Google will soon know what outdoorsy early adopters with lots of Facebook friends think about Glass.
For what it's worth, Lanier said he qualified for the research, and he describes himself as a "30-something dad that is into new technology, active on social networks and spends time outdoors." He was told, however, that he would have to come back another day.