Next Plan for Google Glass? Start Over.
Perfect to Tony Fadell’s standards, that is. The new Google Glass project lead -- also the current Nest CEO and one of the founding fathers of the Apple iPod -- plans to completely scrap the original and ridiculously lampooned product, The New York Times reports. Out with the old, in with the new.
Google Glass first launched three years ago. It was beta tested in public through the company’s Google Explorer program where lucky gadget-heads (soon known as “Glassholes”) could try out the device for $1,500 a pop.
While the tactic grabbed headlines, the ploy ultimately backfired. The device, still a work-in-progress, sparked an onslaught of privacy and safety concerns everywhere from public restrooms to movie theaters and strip clubs. Bugs abounded and a smaller customer base reportedly caused developers to back away from creating new tools and apps. Then, just three weeks ago, Google Glass came to a grinding halt. Google pulled the plug on its beta baby so it could “focus on what’s coming next.”
What’s next for the “smart” eyewear is reportedly a total makeover, from scratch. Many believe development for this next phase will likely go down in private, behind closed doors. (Good, because we can’t stomach another shower selfie of recovering Glasshole Robert Scoble either.)
Some staff shifts will be likely be key. Last May, fashion executive Ivy Ross replaced Babak Parviz, the Google X founder and Glass’ original architect. Through Ross, the device could usher in a subtler, more aesthetically sophisticated device, answering demands from non-techies for a wearable that’s actually wearable. (Good luck with that.)
Like everyone else, Fadell is looking forward to seeing what Ross comes up with. “Early Glass efforts have broken ground and allowed us to learn what’s important to consumers and enterprises alike,” he said in a statement published in the New York Times. “I’m excited to be working with Ivy to provide direction and support as she leads the team and we work together to integrate those learnings into future products.”
The pressure is on. OK, Ross. Fix this mess.
Related: Struggling Sony Reveals Its Answer to Google Glass
Kim Lachance Shandrow is the former West Coast editor at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was a commerce columnist at Los Angeles CityBeat, a news producer at MSNBC and KNBC in Los Angeles and a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times. She has also written for Government Technology magazine, LA Yoga magazine, the Lowell Sun newspaper, HealthCentral.com, PsychCentral.com and the former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Coop. Follow her on Twitter at @Lashandrow. You can also follow her on Facebook here.