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Google to Expand Glass Sales by Invitation

Trey Thoelcke

If you know any of the 10,000 early users of Google Glass, it may be time to cozy up to those friends and acquaintances. Google Inc. (GOOG) announced Monday that it will expand sales of the wearable smartphone by allowing the early adopters to invite up to three people to buy in.

Back in 2004, Google did something similar with its Gmail program when early product testers got to widen the field of users. Early Glass users were primarily computer programmers and winners of an online contest.

Glass is a kind of smartphone worn on the head like spectacles. It includes a hands-free camera, a speaker, and a small display screen attached to the frame above the right eye. Newly invited users will have to pay $1,500 apiece for Glass.

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Google also is giving those early testers the option to exchange their current device for an updated one that includes an ear bud for better acoustics and that will work on prescription frames. The company plans to release a less-expensive model of Glass next year. How much they will cost and when they will be available has yet to be announced.

Furthermore, the much speculated about Google smartwatch is rumored to be entering production soon and may be launched in months. The smartwatch is expected to run the Android operating system and to include the company's Google Now personal assistant.

Shares of Google were up fractionally in premarket trading Tuesday to $1,017.01, in a 52-week range of $636.00 to $1,040.57.

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