Schmidt: Google Glass Not Dead Yet

24 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Google Glass Isn’t Dead.

Google is sticking with its controversial Glass Internet-connected eyewear because the technology is too important to scrap, according to Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt. After Google stopped selling its wearable Glass device in January this year, many people speculated that the controversial gadget was on its way out for good.

While Google’s plans with Glass have never been overly transparent (haha), the wearable’s path has become a lot clearer with a Wall Street Journal report published today. According to Google, Tony Fadell’s job is simple: make Glass ready for consumption. “It [Glass] is a big and very fundamental platform for Google.

According to Schmidt, Google’s decision to move Glass out of its Google X research lab and hand it off to Tony Fadell, head of the company’s Nest connected home division, is a sign of its continued commitment to the face computer and its plans to “make it ready for users.” After all, despite the buzz, Glass users had become something of an easy punchline—a bunch of unfashionable “Glassholes” that were easily mocked, and rightfully so. Google is about taking risks and there’s nothing about adjusting Glass that suggests we’re ending it.” He said Glass, like Google’s self-driving car, is a long-term project. “That’s like saying the self-driving car is a disappointment because it’s not driving me around now,” he said. “These things take time.” Glass has been criticized for invading people’s privacy because wearers can record video and take photos unobtrusively. Google’s smartwatch platform, Android Wear, is still struggling to gain any meaningful traction, but the wearables space may be just too big for the search giant not to continue to experiment. With a $1,500 price tag, dwindling app support, and no final consumer version in sight, it seemed like Glass might simply classified as a failed experiment.

Early users became the butt of jokes, gaining the nickname “glassholes.” But Google remains interested in wearable computing devices, a potentially large market. On the other hand, Fadell’s long history in product design and development certainly makes him the right guy for the job in terms of changing Glass from a punchline to a product.

The most complex wearables, such as Glass, which have their own Internet connection and operate independently from smartphones, won’t catch on quickly because the value proposition for users isn’t clear yet, IDC said. It should have been apparent from the outset—and to me, it was—that Google was relying on Fadell’s design track record to make Glass Google’s next big hit. Unlike the first version of Glass, work on the new version will happen behind the scenes, borrowing a page from the product developing strategy playbook of Apple, where Fadell created the iPod. More from WSJ.D: And make sure to visit WSJ.D for all of our news, personal tech coverage, analysis and more, and add our XML feed to your favorite reader. After living in New York for most of his life, he recently relocated to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he plays drums in his band, the Lost Wheels, and roams the land for the midwest’s best approximation of actual pizza.

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