It's one of the great perils of being an early adopter to just about anything, really; the idea that something you paid for will come out later, much less expensively, or otherwise improved. But Google's reported plans to put a little extra RAM (News - Alert) power in the Google Glass system has drawn the ire of early Google Glass Explorers who, at last report, will not be upgraded.
In the early days, Google (News - Alert) sought out Glass Explorers, individuals willing to pay a hefty price to get in on the ground floor of the Google Glass system and try it out ahead of everyone else, offering feedback as the trials went along. The end result, among other things, recently saw Google boosting the RAM in Google Glass from one gigabyte to two—an announcement that brought with it plenty of unhappy explorers who essentially realized that said explorers paid full price for a half-strength unit.
Not all Explorers were specifically irked at the lack of free upgrades. Some suggested instead that offering the upgrades for “a small fee” would be a welcome move, and others noted that Google's plan to do continual upgrades would kind of preclude the possibility that Google could offer upgrades to its early Explorers, but that “Getting a final consumer version would be swell though.”
However, one point may prove a bit problematic for Google, as the company has a policy of replacing broken or defective Google Glass devices. Should those replacements come with two gigabytes of RAM, one Google Plus user noted, then “...you will see a lot of 'defective' models this month.”
While this is proving something of a sticking point, Google won't just be modifying the hardware, but rather the software as well, a point that current Explorers should likewise be able to get in on. A set of L-shaped corners should help to frame shots for picture taking, and Google Now cards come with reminders on where a car was parked and when packages are expected to arrive. Plus, there are 12 new Glassware apps available, ranging from music recognition app Shazam (News - Alert) to a basketball training tool known as 94Fifty Basketball, which can help offer feedback about shooting technique after each shot taken.
Indeed, this is one of the pitfalls of the early adopter. Yes, the early Explorers won't be getting in on the new version with the better RAM count, but then, the Explorers could also use Google Glass before it was banned in a variety of places, too. It would, however, be a good move for Google to not simply ignore its Explorers here, however, lest it find itself without interested Explorers the next time a new development came around. If Explorers get treated like second-class citizens this time, Google's much less likely to find volunteers down the line. Personally, I'd say that “free final consumer version” would be a great idea; these are the people that provided a lot of the necessary feedback; handing over a free final version would be a great move.
Only time will tell just how Google reacts to all this. It's got plenty of possibilities, though the full ramifications of these possibilities likely won't be seen until Google's next product release.
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Edited by Maurice Nagle
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