23 April 2014

Google Extends Glass Program for Nonprofits


Google's program for its wearable computing device, Glass, has seen its eligibility period extended. The program, Giving Through Glass, launched in October aims to put Google Glass in the hands of U.S. nonprofit organizations.

Google's wearable computer, Glass (Image credit: Google)

About The Program

Giving Through Glass will select five nonprofits from a pool of applicants to receive the device and a trip to a Google Glass training center to learn how to use it. In addition to the wearable computer, the program will also award each of the organizations a $25,000 grant.

To illustrate how at least one nonprofit has already used the device to aid its efforts, the Glass team posted a video featuring World Wildlife Fund (WWF) senior research officer Sabita Malla using the device in Nepal’s Chitwan National Park to track and record the movements of rhinos.

Using a Glassware app called Field Notes, which records images and notes and shares that data via the cloud, Malla narrates a video of her traveling through the park's terrain to conduct her research. Scroll down to watch the video.

Google's Smart Move

Google's move to profile the device as a boon to the nonprofit community — as well as its decision to leverage the attention surrounding Earth Day — is a clever one, considering the recent negative hits Glass has taken in the media.

Nevertheless, at $1,500 a piece, it will still be difficult for some to see Glass as anything more than a luxury device when so many cheaper options — smartphones, for example — to record field work like Malla's already exist.

Important Program Dates

Some of the organizations involved in judging of the initiative include Charity:Water, Do Something Inc., the WWF, Samasource, GiveDirectly and Google. The deadline for entries is May 20, and winners will be announced around June 17.

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