Google has announced a special competition that will allow winners to order and test Google Glass headset early.

The competition is currently only available to US residents, however, and the winners still have to pay Google $1,500 for the chance to use Glass. Google is referring to these lucky winners as 'Explorers'.

It's a rather odd launch strategy, that will see the first customers not only paying to use Glass, but also entering a competition. The competition is taking place on Social Media, however, so it could be clever way for Google to start spreading the word about a new type of technology. Project Glass has only been available to developers so far.

Google Glass

Sadly those of us outside the US can't enter the competition/pre-order scheme. Google says via Google+: "To all of our fans living outside the US: thanks for talking to us, and we hear you. We know some of you are frustrated that you can't apply for the Glass Explorer Program, and we're sorry. We have some logistical and regulatory limitations right now, but we hope to make Glass more widely available in the future."

Google says on its Google Glass website:

"We’re looking for bold, creative individuals who want to join us and be a part of shaping the future of Glass. We’d love to make everyone an Explorer, but we’re starting off a bit smaller. We’re still in the early stages, and while we can’t promise everything will be perfect, we can promise it will be exciting."

Google posted a video on Wednesday showing the Google Glass in first-person action, with people skydiving, swimming underwater, going on roller-coasters while simultaneously recording video, taking photographs, and sending messages.

To become a Glass Explorer you have to use Google+ or Twitter to tell people what you would do if you had Glass, starting with the hashtag #ifihadglass. You can use up to 50 words and 5 images in your application, and a short video.

The deadline is 27 February and Google will reach out to you with an invitation if you're chosen.

Google Glass page says:

Using Google+ or Twitter, tell us what you would do if you had Glass, starting with the hashtag #ifihadglass.

Your application must be 50 words or less
You must include #ifihadglass in your application
You can include up to 5 photos with your application
You can include a short video (15 secs max)
Be sure to follow us on Google+ (+ProjectGlass) or Twitter (@projectglass) so that we can contact you directly
You must be at least 18 years old and live in the U.S. to apply
For more details, please see our full Terms and FAQ

Google Glass being worn