What ever happened to Google Glass?
When Google announced a secret project years ago, we all held our breath. We heard it would be some sort of eyeglasses, and many called it “Google Goggles,” a guess which was close to the “Google Glass” name given to the wearable that puts a voice-recognition computer engine right on a glass screen in front of your eyes. Broadview Networks PR Specialist, Emilie Erwin observes that roughly a year ago, videos demonstrated what the Google Glass experience would be like went viral. The videos were beautifully produced and provoked enthusiasm.
Erwin notes that the promises made were surreal, which was done on purpose because of the futuristic nature of the technology. She adds that “many were excited, though some considered the comprehensiveness of its features to be a bit frivolous. In any case, many people had accepted that, like smartphones, similar devices would be sweeping our culture.”
Now, over 1,500 people own a pair, but few wear them consistently, and many have bowed to the pressure of being called “Glassholes,” and the devices are far from mainstream. But why is that?
Below, Erwin outlines several factors that have played a role in the adoption (or lack thereof) of the Google Glass devices:
It’s not the fact that people are opposed to the idea of wearing their technology on their bodies – to being connected 24/7. Smartwatches, fitness bands, and various clip-on devices are on the rise. There’s a difference between Google Glass and the rest, though – all other wearables seem to accomplish something specific, to fill a certain void. Fitness watches have the agenda of consistently feeding you information about your personal health. Smart watches are like smaller, more accessible, and more discrete phones. Google Glass, however, is just kind of there.
2. The Slow, Quiet Death
Reuters recently decided to dig into where Glass is going, if anywhere, and had some pretty bleak findings. Over 50% of developers who had begun developing Glass applications have discontinued their progress due to a lack of interest or roadblocks within the device itself. It hasn’t been very thoroughly developed in itself, so developing quality apps for it proved to be, in some cases, not entirely possible.
It’s not just developers who have abandoned the project – even the creator, Babak Parviz, has left the company for its own competitor, Amazon. Not much of this has made big news – it all just sort of fizzled out.
3. The Future
In spite of all that’s been said above, Google seems to think Glass has a future. The company says it’s as excited as ever about what’s to come, but then again, why wouldn’t they? Contradicting their own statement, though, they’ve still neglected to answer any further questions.
If what Google claims is true, then maybe things have just quieted down for now. Maybe 2015 will bring a heave of energy for the developers on the project. But as it currently stands, those developers have given up hope and moved onto more active projects, so what really is Google Glass without anyone to give it direction or improve upon it?
With the end of 2014 being nigh, it’s safe to say that the company won’t meet its projected launch for this year. Still, we can’t say for sure whether it will launch at all. Who knows – Google has been known to surprise us.