Google Glass may still struggle in the consumer market, but the Internet giant remains steadfast on its mission to carve out new use cases for the computerized headsets.
In Aprilof the Giving through Glass competition, a contest that would award five US-based nonprofits each with a Glass unit, a trip to a Google office for training, a $25,000 grant, and additional support from Google developers.
After narrowing down proposals from more than 1,300 nonprofits, Google has chosen its five lucky winners: 3000 Miles to a Cure, Classroom Champions, The Hearing and Speech Agency, Mark Morris Dance Group and Women's Audio Mission.
The eclectic mix of nonprofits seems to have unique propositions on how Glass can be incorporated into their missions. For example, Classroom Champions plans to use glass to build empathy among students in high-needs schools by giving them first-person views of Paralympic athletes as they train and compete.
The Women's Audio Mission will try to make lab experiences more immersive within its music and media-based training program, while The Hearing and Speech Agency and the Mark Morris Dance Group will focus on using Glass in therapeutic settings.
Showcasing Glass do-gooders could turn into a positive strategic play for Google, as it continues to make its case that Glass has life outside of sketch comedy and the workplace – which up until now has garnered Glass the most notoriety. After all, its doubtful that anyone will throw the term "Glasshole" around when the users are autistic, children or otherwise challenged.