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The Engineer
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Google Glasses - What Went Wrong?

10/30/2017 11:50 AM

When Google Glasses hit the market in 2014, there was a lot of hype that they would quickly become as ubiquitous as smartphones. Several years later they still haven't taken off, even as smart watches have started to gain traction. What went wrong?

I found this article interesting but I'd like to hear your opinion as well. Personally, I think they are just too awkward to wear and that prevented them from catching on. Certainly, I think the idea is good.

http://www.thedrum.com/news/2017/10/24/the-failure-awards-defunct-branding-11-google-glass

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#1

Re: Google Glasses - What Went Wrong?

10/30/2017 12:10 PM

I don't know anybody that wants to look more like a nerd....

...and nerdy stuff that doesn't work reliably is even worse....it becomes a laugh-on-sight accessory...and then it doesn't do anything new that can't be done with a phone, is a final blow to any cool factor that might have possibly existed.....

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#2

Re: Google Glasses - What Went Wrong?

10/30/2017 12:32 PM

Putting aside the legal and constitutional implications of a device that can surreptitiously record everything someone is doing and saying, "Oh don't worry, it's turned off," I think it's just plain creepy.

Not to mention the potential for blackmail and voyeurism and industrial/political espionage, I would never dine with anyone who was wearing one of those and would be tempted to ask a diner wearing one at another table to take it off.

The thought of, yet another, device that can constantly gather and store my data is not appealing. I know, I know there are cameras everywhere already.

Nope!

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The Engineer
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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Google Glasses - What Went Wrong?

10/30/2017 1:23 PM

Yeah, that's a good point. The number of devices surrounding us gathering data on us is disturbing. Sure, right now that data is mainly used to determine what kind of ad to offer me...but who knows what it could be used for in the future by a less benign entity. I'd hate to be a politician the next few decades!

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#4
In reply to #2

Re: Google Glasses - What Went Wrong?

10/30/2017 2:57 PM

We had the Executive Assistant to the CEO wear them 'once' and even the CEO stopped talking when he walked into the room. Needless to say, the first day we saw him wear them at work was also the last.

Remove the video/audio recording feature and I'd bet they catch on though.

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#5

Re: Google Glasses - What Went Wrong?

10/30/2017 3:34 PM

Maybe most of the wearers walked out in traffic, got their immediate Darwin Award, and never had time to give positive remarks on Amazon, etc.?

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#6

Re: Google Glasses - What Went Wrong?

10/30/2017 5:03 PM

Society just wasn't ready for it (yet).

Just a little too before its time. Heck, we accepted Bluetooth head sets, a little miniaturisation development and I am confident it will come back in the future.

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#7

Re: Google Glasses - What Went Wrong?

10/30/2017 6:18 PM

Feels too much like a solution in search of a problem.

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#10
In reply to #7

Re: Google Glasses - What Went Wrong?

11/02/2017 1:52 AM

Just like laser was described in initial years! Hope Glass also finds wide use some years from now.

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#12
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Re: Google Glasses - What Went Wrong?

11/02/2017 9:21 AM

I expect it will find use in heads-up displays to augment direct line of sight, also to provide additional data that is relevant to the task at hand.

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#17
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Re: Google Glasses - What Went Wrong?

11/02/2017 6:24 PM

Laser represented a technology. Google Glass represents a product that has evolved from a number of existing technologies already in use such as heads up display, cameras, processing, etc. I will maintain that this is a solution in search of a problem.

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#18
In reply to #17

Re: Google Glasses - What Went Wrong?

11/02/2017 6:28 PM

Or, just "a controversial trendy nerd toy" as Slomobile said.

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#19
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Re: Google Glasses - What Went Wrong?

11/02/2017 6:41 PM

Since I've never tried one, I'll take his word for it. I never saw anything in the public releases that interested me.

I expect technology to make my life better, not more complicated. I had no requirements that the Google Glass would fulfill, so it would have been nothing more than a nerdy toy as far as I am concerned.

Others may have found good use for it, and that's fine by me. From a social point of view, I personally consider Glass to be a step backward more so than people's inability to put their phone down and actually interact with the real world.

If I were to go on a cruise ship, I would only pick one that provided no cell phone coverage and no wi-fi. Isn't that supposed to be point of a cruise?

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#20
In reply to #19

Re: Google Glasses - What Went Wrong?

11/02/2017 8:17 PM

Wearing that contraption in public would be like driving a Hummer to the grocery store to pick up a loaf of bread. You might turn some heads, but would any body be admiring it?

I have no desire to cruise, but we've done the LA to Seattle Coast Starlight train twice. I agree, there's no time for technology.

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#21
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Re: Google Glasses - What Went Wrong?

11/03/2017 11:04 AM

This past summer I was at the Crowne Plaza at Ventura Beach and the tracks for the Coast Starlight run right next to the hotel. That looks like an excellent train ride and I have put that trip on my bucket list of things to do. My mom and dad did the Empire Builder and that comes highly recommended as well.

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#22
In reply to #21

Re: Google Glasses - What Went Wrong?

11/03/2017 11:11 AM

I took the narrow gauge train out of Alamosa, Colorado up into the mountains of New Mexico, and that is also a very worthwhile trip, IMHO.

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#23
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Re: Google Glasses - What Went Wrong?

11/03/2017 11:30 AM

It's an amazing, scenic trip. Wine tasting when you pass through N. California and unspoiled country all the way.

The food was excellent and we had very interesting dining partners during the trip.

We got stopped by an earthquake at dinnertime on the second day and were late arriving. Both trips were during 4th of July and we had dinner and watched fireworks from the top of the Space Needle.

The Colorado trip is in our future.

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#24
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Re: Google Glasses - What Went Wrong?

11/03/2017 7:30 PM

. . . some of the reviews I read about that particular route, referred to it as the "Coast Starlate".

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#25
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Re: Google Glasses - What Went Wrong?

11/03/2017 8:13 PM

No extra charge.

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#8

Re: Google Glasses - What Went Wrong?

10/31/2017 7:28 AM

People had a low tolerance for glassholes. Yeah, that's what the users were called. Funny thing though, when you type that into Google, it doesn't auto-fill in the word. At all. Odd that their algorithm misses that. Their motto is "don't be evil." They'd never rig search results, would they?

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#9

Re: Google Glasses - What Went Wrong?

10/31/2017 9:55 AM

For me, I was excited when I heard about it. I am an experiencer (yes, I made that up). It means I like to be in the moment, experiencing whatever is happening and not being removed from the experience behind a camera.

I was hoping it would simply be a good, reliable camera that would take pictures or video of whatever it was I was looking at with just a touch of the temple. Eye tracking would have been nice too, but I figured technologically that was a few years off yet.

In that capacity, and in "augmented reality," I saw great potential. What Google did, though, was try to reinvent the smartphone. The results were predictable as the idea was flawed. There is much more to the user experience with a smartphone than can be squashed and made into sunglasses. It is a visceral experience as well as an intellectual one. As advanced primates, we love to hold things, manipulate things, "play" with things. Hands-free is not always a guaranteed sale with us critters.

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#11

Re: Google Glasses - What Went Wrong?

11/02/2017 7:14 AM

As a side story, there is a laser company rumored to be releasing a version of these for production plant maintenance personnel. The maintenance personnel will wear a pair of glasses connected to the internet to a Tech somewhere and both can look at and troubleshoot the problem without the cost and time delay of traveling. The Tech will be able to see what the Maintenance person is looking at, see actual test results, and direct the maintenance to a specific widget easier. It is also said that schematics will be able to be sent to the glasses and view-able through the glasses. I can see a great need for these.

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#13

Re: Google Glasses - What Went Wrong?

11/02/2017 9:40 AM

@Bayes, thank you for bringing this article to our attention, to us in the peanut gallery. :-)

From the little I know now by about Augmented Reality headsets, Google Glasses were of limited utility, and I hazard a guess that the CPU was under-powered to provide a sufficient processing margin to truly run a serious AR application. Added to that it seems there was no GNSS or tracking capability, the available screen real estate was a upper quarter screen and limited to one eye, so no stereoscopy, and the battery run time was limited to about ?3 hours, with no external extension battery pack or quick-charge capability.

So all it was, was a netbook PC in a set of eye-glasses with an internet and telephone network connection. Still, quite impressive for its time. But someone was asleep at the switch once the hype monster was cut loose, since Google Glass was supposed to be a work-in-progress.

I have recently looked in to developing an AR application on the current version of Google Glass (no, it's not dead yet), but the requirements seem to be quite onerous.

Google has buttoned the project right up with a designated closed group of developer consultancies and is aiming for enterprise use. Nothing about untethered use in remote areas, or whether there is eye-tracking and control - I need hands-free operation for my application. I can't even find out the spec sheet, so I'm looking at ODG's industrial smart glass lineup. At least there, technical info is easily available, even though the available info on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835/845 processor is very lame.

For anyone who wants to dive a little deeper on the subject of AR, check out

https://www.slideshare.net/search/slideshow?lang=%2A%2A&page=1&q=COMP+4010&qid=f79de376-8342-4e8b-a43b-aec8ffd83300&searchfrom=header&sort=relevance

Alternatively, do a search on "Mark Billinghurst" or "COMP 4010" in SlideShare.net

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#14

Re: Google Glasses - What Went Wrong?

11/02/2017 4:33 PM

I feel qualified to answer this as my Google Glass wastes away in a drawer. It is widely believed that people stopped using Glass because of the creepiness factor of knowing that it could be recording. Not true. If you just paid $1500 for a controversial trendy nerd toy, you aren't going to stop using it because other people don't get it. That is part of the attraction, to know first hand what it is like when others don't. You stop using it because it doesn't work well. Google committed to a user interface that was clever on the drawing board, but annoying after a short time of use. I would get headaches and sores on the bridge of my nose from tapping and swiping the temple mounted touchpad way too often for simple operations. It really needed a remote like current daydream headsets. The 'card' display was different enough that you could not use standard Android apps. The best apps for Glass were immersive, but too resource intensive so it would heat up, cause sweat, which got inside and caused parasitic battery drain on the already overstressed battery. It needed ability to multitask, take pictures or video while also displaying walking maps. It would sleep way too soon requiring head bobs to wake it up which caused sore neck and made you look like having a seizure when it would fail to wake 7 times in a row. For me, the display never worked right, it had annoying reflections of my eyeball or double image displayed. I used it at FIRST robotic competition events to record repairs in the pits, drivers eye view on the field, and scouting the competition. It worked great for that as long as it was constantly plugged into a battery pack in my shirt pocket. That got me wishing it was just a camera and display using the phone in my pocket for power, communication, and processing, making a lighter, cooler running, faster experience. Also, walking down the street saying "OK Google" and talking to your unbalanced lensless glasses makes a person look unbalanced as well. And because they feel like regular glasses, you forget that you are wearing them, which is unfortunate when you enter a public bathroom. In that case, where do you put them down, when you realize the inappropriatenes and that your hands will soon be occupied with other business. That is when you finally understand the term "Glasshole". Eventually the novelty wears off. A similar device will be successful if it can use standard apps, will fold to fit a shirt pocket, and comes with a small handheld tactile remote. The bone conduction speaker worked great.

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#15
In reply to #14

Re: Google Glasses - What Went Wrong?

11/02/2017 5:12 PM

I stand corrected on the capabilities of the Google Glass headet.

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#16
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Re: Google Glasses - What Went Wrong?

11/02/2017 5:50 PM

You said, "If you just paid $1500 for a controversial trendy nerd toy, you aren't going to stop using it because other people don't get it."

That in itself makes you a glasshole.

You didn't quit using them because other people might be uncomfortable when you used them in their presence.

You quit using them only because they caused you personal discomfort.

Karma's a bitch isn't it.

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#26
In reply to #16

Re: Google Glasses - What Went Wrong?

11/06/2017 3:21 PM

Sure, I'll own that. It was kind of the point I was making, except that public perception is wrong. I am by definition a glasshole just because I wanted to try to integrate a new tool into my workflow. I had dreams of exploded views and pinouts at the ready while assembling robots. Recording the post mortem teardown so I could see where that one critical spring loaded part shot off to. That kind of worked, but it was just too uncomfortable to use every day.

The lingering (IMO undeserved) bad press image was simply because the thing had a camera. Supposedly, people would see you coming and freak out worried that they were being recorded.

a)Every phone also has a camera, what difference does it make if its mounted to your face?

b)Google Glass is hardly ever recording. Any recording is only 10 seconds long unless you push the button again to extend it. There are practical limits of 2GB total storage capacity, and about 45minutes battery life while recording, but 15minutes of recording makes it uncomfortably hot.

c)In the years I have used Glass, not a single person has told me personally that they felt uncomfortable with me wearing them. I have never been asked to remove them. I have been engaged by strangers in excited friendly conversation countless times because the first time someone ever saw Glass in real life was on my face and they wanted to ask me about it. My answer was always "It is really cool, but it is not a finished product yet." Glass unites people in the real world, it does not bury them behind technology.

d)I never used Glass for creepy purposes. It really isn't practical as a "spy" device because it is instantly recognized, as is the wearers face. The whole spy theory runs counter to the other chief criticism of glassholes, that we are just seeking attention by wearing the device.

That is probably fair, but it is just as fair to note the critics are mostly just jealous.

Yep, that is an apt moniker.

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#27
In reply to #26

Re: Google Glasses - What Went Wrong?

11/06/2017 3:52 PM

a)Every phone also has a camera, what difference does it make if its mounted to your face?

Why a headset when almost everyone else uses a smartphone.

b)Google Glass is hardly ever recording.

People cannot tell that just by looking at the user.

d)I never used Glass for creepy purposes. It really isn't practical as a "spy" device because it is instantly recognized, as is the wearers face. The whole spy theory runs counter to the other chief criticism of glassholes, that we are just seeking attention by wearing the device.

That's sort of the other side of the coin, people also know how limiting they are and so assume it is a techno fashion statement or attention seeking device since a cell phone can do the same thing without making such a bold in-your-face statement. Like driving around an indoor tech convention centre on a Segway, or practically setting up an office in a busy Starbucks to show the world you are a writer.

It really is a device that is just too ahead of its time at the present moment. Most of the features such as recording, augmented reality, virtual reality, etc are being implemented successfully on cell phones (be it less convenient than a head set).

Once these start to become the norm then people will indeed probably want a headset (for example a headset is available to play the new VR games on cell phones which is just a headset cell phone holder). Small steps.

Demand will eventually drive cultural change and acceptance of smart head gear or clothes, it will just take time and we are not there yet so any product like this is just not going to be accepted because it is just too .....big a leap.

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#28

Re: Google Glasses - What Went Wrong?

11/06/2017 10:01 PM

I would love to have a cycling glasses with speed, heart rate, mileage and other features being displyed right in front.

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#29
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Re: Google Glasses - What Went Wrong?

11/07/2017 1:41 PM

Try performing an internet search for "bike helmet hud" or similar as there are products currently available.

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