Google Glass is Still Alive and a “Fundamental Platform” For Google
If you thought we’d heard the last of the Google Glass and that the tech giant would want to sweep that whole debacle under the rug never to be mentioned again, then you’re wrong. Google has insisted that Glass is still alive and well, though the company has gone back to the drawing board in order to make it “ready for users” in the future. I’m not sure what the means exactly, but I’d assume it has something to do with them making the Glass at least moderately useful, and to broaden its appeal outside of the smug, the wealthy and the tech journalists.
While Google had stated that they were going to end the Explorer program, the Glass’ first run at breaking the market, the company seemed to suggest that the Glass was on its deathbed, though its technology would be utilized elsewhere. However, Google’s executive chairman Erich Schmidt told the Wall Street Journal that this is not the case, and now that Glass has been passed to Tony Fadell of Nest it is being positioned as a “big and very fundamental platform for Google,” according to Schmidt.
The Glass has now been moved out of Google X and into its own individual unit, with Fadell handling the strategy of the wearable. Schmidt equated the negative reaction to Glass to Google’s self-driving car, saying: “[It’s] like saying the self-driving car is a disappointment because it’s not driving me around now. These things take time.” However, it’s something of a stretch to compare the two given that the Glass went to retail, albeit in limited supply, and was then subsequently shelved, meaning that those who picked up the wearable early now have expensive, obsolete tech on their hands.
That’s not to mention that the Glass in its previous form was far less useful than the self-driving car, which is where most consumers have directed their criticisms. The Google Glass simply didn’t offer anything that the average consumer needed or wanted, and though there are rumors that Intel are working hand-in-hand with Google to bring out a cheaper Glass model in the future, it remains to be seen whether anyone will want a device that performs tasks that can already be accomplished with smartphones, aside from staunch advocates of wearing pricey technology on your face.
The Google Glass failed to set the world on fire and it’s difficult to envisage the tech appealing to anyone other than the curious. It remains to be seen whether or not Tony Fadell and head of Glass team Ivy Ross can turn it around, but I remain skeptical that the Glass is something consumers will want to buy whenever it makes a reappearance. Unless it’s got an Apple logo on it, of course.
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