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Google Glass, a Failure until Further Notice

When Google Glass first launch, tech blogger Robert Scoble said that he loved Google Glass so much he even showered with the device. He further noted that "I will never live a day of my life from now on without it." Well, that old saying of "Never say never" once again prevailed as months later Scoble went on record to say that he thought Google Glass was Doomed. Google Glass was the first project to emerge from Google's X division, the secretive group tasked with developing "moonshot" products such as self-driving cars. The high profile project that once captured the imagination of both the tech and fashion worlds alike has quickly lost favor with developers and the project is now seen as nothing more than a niche device that will likely never reach mass production unless a killer app is found.




According to a new report published by Reuters, "many developers and early Glass users are losing interest in the much-hyped, $1,500 test version of the product: a camera, processor and stamp-sized computer screen mounted to the edge of eyeglass frames. Google itself has pushed back the Glass roll out to the mass market.


While Glass may find some specialized, even lucrative, uses in the workplace, its prospects of becoming a consumer hit in the near future are slim, many developers say.


Of 16 Glass app makers contacted by Reuters, nine said that they had stopped work on their projects or abandoned them, mostly because of the lack of customers or limitations of the device. Three more have switched to developing for business, leaving behind consumer projects."


Yet even until this day we see that Google is in search of a killer app that could reignite interest for their product with consumers. One such patent-pending idea envisions adding a projector to the Glass frame while another thinks that magic rings and invisible tattoos could do the trick. Why not think of pixie dust if that's what it'll take to excite the market. 


The public at large has yet to hear about these kinds of developments because they're still in development. Instead they've been hearing about how States are working to legislatively ban Google Glass while driving and about casinos, cinemas, strip clubs, restaurants, sporting venues and more banning Google Glass before it really ever gets off the ground. And then came a new round of FUD when reports were surfacing about two Google Glass wearers in San Francisco being assaulted.


More recently the UK Guardian called Glass a fascinating Failure and PC Magazine's John Dvorak wrote an article titled "Rest in Peace, Google Glass: 2012-2014," saying that "It is time to just kiss this little product goodbye, for good."


The Reuters report noted that while Facebook and OpenTable are still on board the project, Twitter has bowed out. But there are other troubling developments occurring reports Reuters, such as several key Google employees instrumental to developing Glass have left the company in the last six months, including Google X Director Babak Parviz who has moved to Amazon. Others include electrical engineering chief Adrian Wong, and Ossama Alami, director of developer relations.


Additionally a Glass funding consortium created by Google Ventures and two of Silicon Valley's biggest venture capitalists, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Andreessen Horowitz, quietly deleted its website.



Alex Foster who started "See Through," a Glass advertising analytics firm for business, after a venture firm earlier this year withdrew its offer to back his consumer-oriented Glass fitness company when it became clear no big consumer Glass release was imminent. Foster stated that "It was devastating. All of the consumer glass startups are either completely dead or have pivoted," to enterprise products or rival wearables.


Tom Frencel, the Chief Executive of Little Guy Games, stated that "If there was 200 million Google Glasses sold, it would be a different perspective. There's no market at this point." He's now put development of a Glass game on hold this year and is looking at other platforms, including Facebook owned virtual-reality goggles Oculus Rift.


Only time will tell if Google will ever announce that this once cool project is officially dead. Google X is supposedly a research center that thinks long term. Perhaps Google Glass was simply too ahead of its time like the first Microsoft plastic stylus-centric PC tablet was. Perhaps the technology has to legitimately catch up with their vision.


Then again, it's hard to determine at this point in time if Google X is really a research center or just one of the greatest propaganda machines that was ever devised. That's still an open question. Even though it's a falsehood, consumers still equate dreamy tech projects with companies being innovative. This kind of marketing propaganda is simply known as vaporware. Up until now, Google Glass was a hope of showing that Android OS was a cutting edge OS and cooler than Apple's iOS. But the dream of delivering on that promise is now in doubt.


Another such project is Tango that was supposed to show up at this year's I/O conference and never did, just as more news on Google Glass was to be made known and nothing ever surfaced. 


For now, when it comes to Google Glass, Reuters sees it as having a clouded future. In effect, the Google Glass project is a failure until further notice.


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