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Google Glass Exec Calls Public Backlash a ‘Necessary Symptom’

Google Glass has faced continual criticism over its polarizing design, potential privacy issues and the high price of units — all before the product launches. But according to the Glass' marketing head, these complaints are just a natural outcrop of Google's ambition and willingness to try something different.

"I see it as quite a necessary symptom of a company that's trying to be disruptive," Google's Ed Sanders told Forbes, He attributed the backlash to the way Google chose to roll out Glass — a limited public beta that kept a shroud of secrecy around a product that generated a ton of hype.

MORE: Google Glass Banned: 7 Places You Can't Wear Them

Sanders also said that many of what he calls misperceptions about Glass go away when someone actually puts the device on. But thanks to the barriers to getting Glass, such as its high initial cost and exclusive availability, very few people get a chance to see for themselves whether the criticisms are justified.

According to Sanders, this limited availability was intentional. "The high price point isn't just about the cost of the device. We want people who are going to be passionate about it," he told Forbes.

These passionate few become part of Google's Explorers program, providing feedback to the company on its heads-up display. When we reviewed the second version of Google Glass (Explorer Edition), we found it dependent on a solid Internet connection and lacked battery life. We did appreciate its lightweight design and accurate voice recognition.

"Frankly, having those issues out in the open helps," said Sanders. We expect Google to finally make Glass available to the public later this year and look forward to seeing a refined product based on the criticisms it has received.

— Cherlynn Low, Tom's Guide

Follow Cherlynn Low at @CherlynnLow and on Google+. Follow Tom's Guide at @tomsguide, on Facebook and on Google+.