Story 2014-11-17 2V2X Google Glass future clouded as some early believers lose faith

Google Glass future clouded as some early believers lose faith

in hardware on (#2V2X)
story imageReuters is reporting a drop in usage of Google Glass. Turns out:
After two years of popping up at high-profile events sporting Google Glass, the gadget that transforms eyeglasses into spy-movie worthy technology, Google co-founder Sergey Brin sauntered bare-faced into a Silicon Valley red-carpet event on Sunday.
Google Glass may be losing its mojo as users struggle to accept obviously creepy spy aspects of the new technology. A quick Google search turns up things like:
  1. TechCrunch: MPAA Bans Google Glass And Other Wearable Cameras From Movie Theaters
  2. Mew York Post: The revolt against Google ‘Glassholes’
  3. Gizmodo: Is Google Glass Dying?
That's an inauspicious start to a new technology, and certainly the price tag doesn't help either: the test version of Google Glass comes with a $1,500 price tag. Says Reuters:
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.
[Author note: My personal experience? Google Glass is a difficult market even for business developers. As freelancing software developer I asked several of my customers what they think about possible Google Glass solutions. I pointed out some ideas how Google Glass could be used to benefit their business. Though the ideas were generally well received, they usually were answered with: Sounds very good, perhaps in the future. We are watching Google Glass. We thought about it ourselves, but don't think that at this point the necessary investments will pay off.

My advice to Google? Cut the price. For $150 I'd take the risk. Many nerd developers would. Google Glass needs a better reputation and a few killer apps. Only Google has the money and interest to improve the reputation of Google Glass. To find a killer app, it needs an as large as possible developer base. One does not get the latter with a $1500 product with a questionable future.]

[edited 2014-11-17 15:01 GMT: inauspicious, not auspicious]
Reply 15 comments

On killer app is a HUD. (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-11-17 11:57 (#2V31)

A app that transform the glass in to HUD connected to a bike or a car is actually a great app, in my case I give it a take even if the glass costs 400€+100€ for a OBD reader, and if they remove the Ir filter for the camera or put a one that is removable or switchable to use it as nigth vision camera then they had a near perfect HUD. But the actual price is a no no, and for 150€ I take at least 2 of then.

Glass needed wearables first (Score: 1)

by on 2014-11-17 14:06 (#2V34)

My random, uniformed guess is that while the technology is close to being usable, the acceptance of it is too low. I read someone else say this before: the progression of technology people would have accepted is : dumb mobile phone => feature phone => smart phone => smart watch => google glass. Smart watches fit many of the proposed use cases of google glass without the requirement of wearing glasses or spy like fears. Information at a glance without complicated UIs.

The name of android *wearables* also indicates that they have more than just watches in mind. I wouldn't be suprised to see a consumer version of glass running android wearable.

Re: Glass needed wearables first (Score: 2, Funny)

by on 2014-11-17 15:14 (#2V37)

Can't wait to see what other tracking devices they come up with for consumers to wear, as the field of "wearables" must certainly include more than just watches and glasses. Just to get them started, here are my humble suggestions:
  1. Tracking shoes: monitor your speed as you pass before shop windows in urban centers. Expect radically increased advertising from any shop before which your velocity slowed.
  2. Tracking underwear: monitors not only your hygiene and how many times you drop trou in a day, but your sexual activity via sensors that monitor hormone levels. Plus: if your G+ account shows you are a public school teacher and you show any signs of sexual arousal during inappropriate times of the day, the appropriate authorities are automatically notified. For Republican women only: underwear changes color with sexual activity so you can be identified and publicly shamed by politicians eager to get you all back into the kitchen and undo generations of sexual liberation).
  3. Tracking T-shirt: monitors your heartbeat as you watch different TV shows, correlates your pulse to specific scenes, and alters your twitter feed accordingly. Starting to see a lot of "sponsored tweets" for potato chips? Maybe you'll regret getting excited about that one cooking show.
  4. Tracking headband/skull-cap. Provides you with a unique number and uniquely-identifiable GPS location for easy drone strikes.
  5. Tracking belt: monitors your waistline and your body orientation. If you have a physical labor job and the belt ever identifies that you are in a horizontal position, your employer is immediately identified.
  6. Trackable deterrent: if you are registered as a sex offender, your GPS-identified location within 100m of a school, daycare center, or whatever automatically unleashes a 150v electric shock to your nads via the wearable/federally-mandated "google *ass" buttplug which converts your body heat into stored electrical charge for your next zapping. (See? efficient!) With each strike, the voltage goes up until you eventually auto-sterilize yourself by melting your willy.

Re: Glass needed wearables first (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-11-17 21:13 (#2V3Q)

1,3,4,5 are decent satire.

2 & 6 I think crimes against children should result in a permanent loss in certain freedoms. Think of the children, isn't always hyperbole.

word bug (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-11-17 14:12 (#2V35)

I don't think "auspicious" is the word you were looking for, unless you were going for sarcasm (which didn't come through, if so). "Inauspicious" would work -- maybe that's what you meant? "That's hardly an auspicious start..." would work as well.

Re: word bug (Score: 1)

by on 2014-11-17 15:01 (#2V36)

You sir are absolutely right, thanks. An inauspicious start to my editing career as well, then! Five internet points to you ;)

My killer app (Score: 1)

by on 2014-11-17 15:31 (#2V39)

I recently realized what my killer app would be for a screen that is always visible: an infrared camera. Being able to see into the infrared spectrum would give you "superhuman" powers, like never accidentally touching a hot surface, easily finding and insulating the spots where your house is losing heat during the winter, and being able to see pedestrians while driving at night. I think it will take that kind of incredible practicality to amaze people so much that they can't justify opposing Google Glass.

Re: My killer app (Score: 1)

by on 2014-11-17 16:38 (#2V3B)

Google Glass for Driving would be a great idea. Too bad Google wants to get rid of driving with their autonomous vehicles, so they probably aren't interested.

But I can see a market for dedicated driving glasses that incorporate infrared sensors (to see pedestrians and wild animals at night), anti-glare magic (for oncoming headlights), maybe software-assisted highlighting of lane markers and roadsigns. Probably lots of other cool stuff. This would be great for people who are scared of driving at night because of night blindness or extra glare from cataract surgery. Maybe use the GG software platform but tailor them to driving and hit a $299 price point. Then you just keep a pair in your car for much safer night driving and don't have to worry about looking like a fool for wearing them while walking around the street/school/office.

Maybe you could even market a "professional" version at a higher price point for truck drivers that includes additional features that would be useful for that application (not sure what those are, but I'm sure there are some -- connection to the CB radio or dispatch office, maybe).

Re: My killer app (Score: 1)

by on 2014-11-17 17:02 (#2V3E)

Maybe you could even market a "professional" version at a higher price point for truck drivers that includes additional features that would be useful for that application (not sure what those are, but I'm sure there are some -- connection to the CB radio or dispatch office, maybe).
Visual warnings for too low bridges.

Re: My killer app (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-11-17 21:55 (#2V3T)

So what is the advantage over a HUD/windshield integrated display then? That seems to me like it would be easier/cheaper to implement(no need to be tiny, wired directly into vehicle and accessories).

Re: My killer app (Score: 1)

by on 2014-11-17 22:04 (#2V3V)

Not every vehicle has such a display. Different vehicles might have different displays, which might distract from the traffic until one is used to the new layout. Harder to upgrade when integrated in a vehicle.

Re: My killer app (Score: 1)

by on 2014-11-19 10:56 (#2V4H)

I've tried cheap kid's toy night vision, with an LCD screen connected to a camera without IR filter... It's HORRIBLE. Distance perception is way off, it really needs those IR LEDs, and the range is just a few feet. Nothing like real night-vision, and certainly not something you'd be using to drive. But even more on point, if it can be done at a reasonable price, why stick it in a pair of glasses, instead of building it into the car, where you'll need it the most?

Also, it only requires a $15 Infrared thermometer to find poorly insulated spots in your house, if taking a little bit more time than a thermal camera... So I wouldn't call that a killer app.

Not interested in wearable tech. (Score: 1)

by on 2014-11-26 16:47 (#2V9Q)

I'd rather have tech implanted directly into my head and controlled by thought -- as long as the OS is free software and doesn't phone home.