Mar 7, 2013

Help Me Fund My Glass Explorer Edition with "The Glass Registry"

Best case scenario in the next few weeks: I'm chosen to be a Glass Explorer. I create my choose-your-own-adventure blog and YouTube channel for when I attend conferences and conventions, allowing an audience to choose what programs, meetups, and sights I go to. I can show the world life through Glass. I can create be a Glass Explorer meetup group chapter for the NY/NJ Metro area.

Worst case scenario in the next few weeks: I'm chosen to be a Glass Explorer but I don't have $1,500 to pre-purchase the device.

How can I avoid this dilemma?


When I set out to answer this question, my first thought was about community; the impetus of my #IfIHadGlass application. Sure, I could use Kickstarter or Indiegogo or any crowdfunding platform, but wouldnt that be getting ahead of myself? What sort of perks and rewards would I offer? Maybe backers could choose the color for one backer reward? I couldn't think of much more than that. These platforms are based on creative projects where there is usually a tangible result, like a DVD or an album or a event or an invention. Or, in the case of campaigns for non-profits, collaborators will offer creative rewards of their own making like a special piece of art or a personalized something-or-other.

This was less of a creative project than those. It was, for all intents and purposes, the funding of a purchase. Like one would with a stereo. Or a computer. Or a car. Which brought me to my next thought.

When Dodge put out this 30-second spot earlier this year, I thought it was such a genius idea. Heck, if I was a driver myself I'd probably start a Dart Registry (especially for a car that has WiFi-- let's be real, that is awesome). You can tell who these folks are marketing to- the crowdfund-loving, wedding registry-jealous youth of America. And why shouldn't they be jealous? Saving up for a car is tough. Ask any 16 or 17 year old that.

What if I could do this with Glass? The Glass Explorer edition, according to Google's terms, would be a pre-order of $1,500 (plus applicable tax). If I could somehow use Dodge's idea to catalog each piece  or part (visible or known) of Glass with a rudimentary price tag, I could create a registry online and let folks PayPal me the cost of an item. I would hold on to all of the cash gifts until I got notified of being chosen for #IfIHadGlass, upon which point I would transfer the money and pre-order the device. Easy.

Not so easy. How was I going to find a list of all of the parts of Glass? I'd read countless articles and watched The Verge's video and read their article about eighty times, but that wasn't the answer. And how would I name them? Or find pictures of them?

Enter the Google Glass patent application, a Google Image Search for "parts of spectacles" and +Ben Lang, who recently made a gallery collection of hi-res Glass images available at his website after sourcing them from across the vast interwebs. You can find that collection here.

Using all of the above, I went to work.

First, I broke down a list of parts (and the subsequent images I would need) into four lists of approximately 31 registry items:

  • 1. Frame, Bridge & Inner System - Total $375 (10 items)
  • - touchpad, accelerometer and gyroscope casing $50
  • - flexible aluminum frame & bridge $125
  • - pad arms (2 total) $12.50 each (total $25)
  • - nose pads (2 total) $7.50 each (total $15)
  • - convertible solder (for sunglass attachment) (2 total) $5 each ($10)
  • - accelerometer $75
  • - gyroscope $75

  • 2. Arms, Ears, & Temples - Total $375 (10 items)
  • - inner speaker $75
  • - mini (or micro) USB output (for charging) $50
  • - temple arms (2 total) $12.50 each (total $25)
  • - temples (2 total) $50 each (total $100)
  • - earpieces (2 total) $12.50 each (total $25)
  • - battery casing $25
  • - battery $75

  • 3. Glass Display & Camera - Total $750 (8 items)
  • - display and camera housing $25
  • - multi-resolution camera $125
  • - light sensor for camera $50
  • - display prism housing $50
  • - display prism $250
  • - gesture-capacitive touchpad $125
  • - camera compartment $50
  • - Glass button $75

  • 4. Other - Total $350 (3 items)
  • - choose the color of my Glass $200 
  • - certified pre-owned Sprint MiFi card $50
  • - sunglasses attachment $100

After this, I searched for a gift registry website that would not only allow gifts of my own making, but allow a direct link to my PayPal. MyRegistry does both of these, as well as allow you to import Pinterest pins, which I next decided was the perfect place to host all of my images and price tags. Simple, but detailed. I made the pins, imported them, and tweaked the MyRegistry settings. VoilĂ !

Now the The Glass Registry is complete. Allow me to explain how you can help fund my Glass!

Step 1: Leave a comment when you enter the registry so I know you visited.

Step 2: Visit The Glass Registry and choose the part you would like to fund. 

Step 3: Click "Give as Cash Gift" once you've decided what part and send the amount of that part.(please note: My Registry charges a handling fee per cash gift, on a rising scale; see site for details)


Step 3: Give any amount (as little or as much as you wish) by clicking the "Give a Cash Gift" button in The Glass Fund section. (handling fees still apply)

Step 4: Help me fund my Glass beyond your gift by liking the registry on Facebook (see the 'like' button in the upper right corner) and sharing it on any of your social networks (buttons right there as well).

If for some reason I am not chosen to be a Glass Explorer, I will be donating all of the money I raise to Camp Interactive, a a not-for-profit organization that works with inner-city kids, empowering them "through the inspiration of the outdoors and the creative power of technology." I've worked with CI in the past (while at Livestream) and they are an awesome organization that has a really amazing mission. So, rest assured, no matter what happens, your gift to the fund will go to someone who needs it. In addition, if I am chosen I hope to invite the CI kids to one of our monthly Glass Explorer meetups to allow them to experience Glass for themselves.

You can give to The Glass Registry right now, or if not, you can share it with your social networks and help me in a different way. Whether or not I am chosen to be a Glass Explorer, I'm super excited to see what happens next on my journey.

Thanks for reading. Here's hoping the wait for our #IfIHadGlass notifications will be not much longer.