Google Glass was an awesome technology project by Google. The idea behind it was simple: using head-mounted displays to provide information and functionality at your fingertips. Google Glass was the first mobile, wearable technology that could be used in public without raising too many eyebrows. It delivered information and services, such as text messaging and Google Maps directions, hands-free to the user. But most importantly it was this unique thing: a unique thing. A unique fashion statement that you could use to express your individuality and coolness. A cool fashion statement that became a status symbol: if you were seen wearing it, people immediately knew that you were one of those “tech gurus” and Google Glass increased your social status significantly. It was a true “Rise of the Machines” moment.
Here are the reasons to Shut Down Google Glass:
Google Glass: The Creepy Technology
But the future exposed some problems with Glass. First, there was the problem of social acceptance. People were not comfortable being recorded without being informed. Many people would have interactions with their heads raised looking into nowhere (just like Google Glass users) and people wondered if they were looking at them or something else or if they even exist at all (some called this “Google zombie syndrome”). Others didn’t want to be recorded without their approval, which is something that Glass brought to light very quickly; it was the first wearable technology that allowed you to record everything you see and take pictures without consent let alone informing someone that you are about to do so. Some people even worried that they might be recorded without knowing. In the end, most people considered Glass a “creepy” technology and one with serious privacy implications that would have to be addressed by the people who designed the product.
Short battery life
Another problem was battery life. Google Glass batteries were not very durable and could not live up to their advertised 7-day life span, often lasting only a day or two, which forced many users to stop using their devices with a constant feeling of guilt.
The biggest problem was glass breakage: glass breakage is rare in most objects but quite commonplace in wearable devices. When glass breaks it can cause severe damage with sharp shards flying into your eyes or even cutting off an artery or nerve. To address these problems, Google launched a new version of Glass, called “Glass Enterprise Edition”, with a slightly redesigned form and better durability. This new version of Glass was not designed for mass consumer use and only supported the enterprise market. The enterprise version was not as stylish as its previous model, with a more solid-looking design and the promise of longer battery life. This last promise proved to be quite false: even with extended battery life it still lasted less than one day!
The Problem with Price
The interesting thing about Google Glass is that it was all about raising awareness. By launching the product into the public, Google raised awareness around wearable technology and everyone became aware of this new trend. The problem with it is that no one was willing to pay for it; people don’t want to buy something if they can get the same functionality for free. Even though there were some technical limitations, some people tried using it regularly for a short time but gave up quickly because of its expensive price tag. This put an end to its existence as Google knew it would be difficult to sell $1,500 devices that only lasted a few days at most.
Google Glass was Google’s attempt at augmented reality glasses that would ultimately take over the world (or at least change how we live our lives). The device required constant Internet connectivity and cost $1500 per pair; however, it also had tons of potential for enhancing day-to-day life by enabling hands-free computing and wireless streaming of information like news, mail, and social media updates right to your glasses (seriously). Unfortunately, most people were not ready for this new product, and with a barrage of criticism from the media coupled with a general public rejection of Google Glass as a fashion statement, sales of the product were less than 2,000 units. Ultimately, Google decided to discontinue the product.
Overall the product failed because it simply wasn’t very good at delivering on the original promises made by its creator: providing information to your hands at your fingertips.
The Ghost Company’s Product
Google Glass was developed by Google X, or “the company that doesn’t exist,” which is Google’s semi-secret lab dedicated to developing groundbreaking new technologies for the future. The company began developing the technology in 2007 to make wearable computing a reality but was faced with the same problems that other companies have experienced in this area. For instance, Sony showed off its glasses in 1999 & 2000 at CES & MWC, respectively. However, consumers were not enthusiastic about wearing glasses when they had not even perfected the technology for glasses. Google Glass didn’t solve these problems either; in fact, it created even more problems since its debut at the 2013 I/O conference.
The company has no current plans to continue the development of Google Glass beyond its Explorer program; however, Google’s broader interest in wearable technology seems far from over. Google Glass was designed to make it possible for users to access information easily and effortlessly after installing apps to perform several functions.
Google Glass was not only a technology project though. It was also a statement. A statement that was to give the world an idea about the direction Google planned on taking wearable devices. The motto of Google Glass was: “to start this conversation” and to generate hype and buzz about wearable technology. And they succeeded. Many newspapers were writing about this device and it generated a lot of hype and buzz around the word ‘wearable’. Maybe the gadget was too expensive, or perhaps it just didn’t get enough support. Either way, Google has officially discontinued its google glass product.