Question: I missed the one day sale on Google Glass; do you know when they will be available to the general public? What have you found them useful for? — Troy

Answer: Google Glass is essentially a development project that was initially released on an invitation-only basis to help develop use cases for the platform.

Until this has been accomplished, the prospects of them being released to the general public are pretty low.

Unlike smartphones and tablets that had a clear utility when they were released, Google Glass is a totally new technology interface that’s in search of its true value and purpose.

At the moment, it’s a smartphone on your face that can be used with or without touching it to send messages, make phone calls, take pictures and videos and a lot of other things that you routinely do on you smartphone.

Google purposely had a high-cost ($1,500) to become an “Explorer” because they only wanted serious software developers and users who were passionate about exploring its uses during this development stage.

When (and if) it becomes a retail product, you can expect the price to be lower. When this will occur and what the lower price will be is anyone’s guess.

The real key to what happens with Glass will rely heavily on the apps (called Glassware) that are developed specifically for the device. At the moment, the official Google Glassware page only lists 65 apps, but lots of others are being developed outside of Google’s ecosystem.

I’ve been working with Glass for about seven months and I’ve found it to be useful in both my personal and professional activities.

On the personal side, I’m an avid hiker that also loves to take pictures and videos of the areas that I visit, so the form factor of Glass is really spectacular.

In the past, when I wanted to capture a vista or botanical specimen, I would have to stop, pull out my smartphone, unlock the smartphone, open the camera app, snap the image, view the image, lock down my phone, put it back where I was storing it and continue my hike.

With Glass, I can just tap on the side or raise my head up about 30 degrees to wake them up and say, “OK, Glass, take a picture” or “Record a video” even in stride, if I want.

Google Glass is far from being a fully-baked product and nowhere near ready for prime-time, but if you really want to try to become an “Explorer,” you can register to be considered at http://goo.gl/q20NzN.

• Ken Colburn is president of Data Doctors Computer Services and host of the Data Doctors Radio Program, noon Saturdays on KTAR 92.3 FM or at www.datadoctors.com/radio.

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