Google Glass is dead--long live Google Glass!

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16 January 2015
Donald Light
On January 15, Google announced that Google Glass was not ready for prime time. Google is withdrawing it from general availability, but says it will relaunch at some unspecified future date. With the benefit of unaided 20-20 hindsight, Google Glass was a consumer product designed by engineers to appeal to, well, other engineers. Consumers who bought the $1500 device, started to be called a number of things, but “cool” was not one of them. The form/function of Google Glass (a hands-free, heads-up display, sourcing various kinds of data and information, with a video recording capability) suggests several business uses, for example, in insurance: field loss estimators and loss control engineers. And there are of course many other professions with similar needs (e.g. service and repair technicians). The form/function of Google Glass will live on, probably in several diverging incarnations. But whether any of these descendants will be recognizably a “Google Glass” or whether their wearers/users will ever be cool; remains to be seen.

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