Welcome to the newest edition of The Why. “Why isn’t Google Glass huge by now?” you ask? Good question. Timely too. (Besides, it sure beats answering the question: “Why did someone on the internet say you treat yeast infections with yogurt?”)
If you’re not up on technology, Google Glass is a wearable computer that places a little screen in the user’s field of vision to display video calls, messages or directions. It was first sold to qualified “Glass Explorers” in the US on April 15, 2013, for a limited period for $1,500. It became available to the public on May 15, 2014. By now it’s clear that Google glass is not huge and things are not going well.
Alex Fitzpatrick, writer for the TIME website, believes one reason Google Glass is not huge by now is the way the company introduced the product. He notes: “Instead of making it available immediately to all interested buyers, Google launched what it called the ‘Explorers’ program, which meant only those consumers who received an invite from the search giant had the privilege of forking over $1,500 for a pre-market version of Glass.”
It’s possible that the price was a bit high even for techno geeks. Fitzpatrick considers that a possibility but also added that “it’s hard to get any precise numbers on how many Glass units the company has sold to date.”
Developers are no longer interested in having anything to do with the product. Think about it, why work on new software for Google Glass if the demand is at best unknown.
The Google Glass camera has been another issue because folks fear being recorded without their knowledge and/or consent. Early users even became singled out and branded with the unflattering label “glassholes.” They were suddenly banned from bars, movie theatres and other places of business.
Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, had originally announced that Google Glass would hit stores in 2014. As this goes to press there is little more than a good month left and so far the shelves are “Google Glass free”. Fitzpatrick agrees that “it’s increasingly looking like that won’t happen until next year, if at all.”
He adds that Glass may not be a huge success “because it is too different, too soon.” He concludes that most people “don’t want to go around town looking like early Star Trek (Next Generation)’s Geordi La Forge.” Maybe he has a point.
Why isn’t Google Glass huge by now? Now you know.
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