Google gives away Google Glass to 5 nonprofits

The non-profit arm of the most popular search engine, Google.org, has announced the winning five organizations to each receive a $25,000 grant and one pair of its wearable computer, Glass.

The gift from the tech giant has the potential to revolutionize the work of the recipients. Kate Parker, a spokesperson for Google.org, said that the winners were chosen based on a combination of passion, impact and the feasibility of their proposed use of Glass. “These organizations really represent the spirit of entrepreneurship and social impact, and it’s exciting to see what can happen with their programs with the addition of Glass.” The contest pool was composed of over 1,300 non-profit applicants.

While the $1,500 hands-free device has yet to go on sale, the five winning organizations will get a first look at Google’s facilities next week. The focus of the gathering will be to show how Glass can be tailored to the technology needs of each group.

The five winning organizations are:

3000 Miles To A Cure: The organization focuses on raising funds for brain cancer and will use Glass to record portions of the grueling 3,000-mile bicycle Race Across America from a competitors’ point of view.

Classroom Champions: A Jacksonville, Fla.-based Paralympic Mentor program, the organization sends some of the top American and Canadian Paralympians to visit elementary schools to share personal stories and training regimens.

Women’s Audio Mission: The San Francisco-based group helps girls with a passion for audio and science, and aims to use Glass to enhance its instructional programs.

The Hearing and Speech Agency: Baltimore-based HASA will use Glass to develop and pilot new ways to improve the lives of people with communication difficulties, hearing loss and autism.

The Mark Morris Dance Group/Brooklyn Parkinson Group: Glass will help instructors at this New York group develop a series of video prompts that, when Glass is worn by Parkinson’s sufferers, can guide them through a range of exercises aimed at stimulating physical movement.