The Death of Google Glass

Okay, maybe not so much the death of Google Glass as its impending irrelevancy:

…Rather than spending years developing Glass in secret, Google trotted it out as an early “beta” product that was somewhat functional but finicky and literally in your face. It hoped that software developers would come up with killer applications and that the people wearing it would act as evangelists. Presumably, this has led to some priceless insights for the next version—Google’s online Glass forum brims with questions and feature requests from early users. But it has also caused a social backlash. Seeing a computer on your face makes some people, for various reasons, extremely annoyed.  The “explorers” have become widely known as “glassholes.”

But despite Google’s missteps, the technology isn’t going away. The idea that Glass represents—allowing you to ingest digital information at a glance—has appealed for decades to die-hards like Thad Starner, a Glass technical lead who has been making and wearing these kinds of gadgets since 1993. Researchers are going to keep plugging away until we get to a point where the technology blends into the glasses themselves, rather than sitting so obviously atop them.

So imagine that in a few years someone comes out with smart glasses that are pretty much unnoticeable. They have a tiny display in the lenses; the electronics and battery are neatly concealed in the frame. They’re operated easily with a few fairly discreet touch gestures, eye movements, and, when appropriate, voice commands. Now this is no longer something that irks people around you—it’s something you buy as an add-on to your normal glasses, giving you a head-up display for navigating city streets and translating signs while traveling. And who knows what else it might do? A non-obnoxious version of the technology would surely inspire software developers to have another try at creating interesting new applications—apps that could deliver on the information-rich lifestyle that Starner calls a “killer existence.”


Google Glass Redux

2 Replies to “The Death of Google Glass”

  1. I assume, given recent events and executive announcements, that a law enforcement version is in the works. Of course, the existing nickname for users of the appliance should work quite nicely in the law enforcement realm as well.

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