In 2012, news of Google’s new device, simply titled Glass, hit the industry like a rock. Many thought Google had the biggest technology breakthrough since Apple’s iPhone in 2007.
On April 4, 2012, Google asked consumers what they think the Glass should be. They then released a video giving a hint at what Glass would be able to accomplish. Tech columnists salivated like a dog who is about to have a juicy bone.
Finally, on June 7, 2012, Google started taking pre-orders for those who wanted to be the very first Glass Explorers. It would only cost them $1500 for a device that was barely useable. Before Glass even arrived in any Glass Explorer hands, Virginia wisely passed a law to ban drivers from using the device.
On April 16, 2013, Glass went public. Pretty soon, geeks walking around with the poorly designed Glass could be seen everywhere, especially in San Francisco. Glass Explorers thought they represented the beginning of a technology revolution. Little did they realize they were really the beginning of a major fad that didn’t even go mainstream.
Perhaps if Google didn’t release so many public beta versions and released the consumer product right away, they wouldn’t have faced the current backlash. The main problem with Google Glass has always been that the tremendous hype didn’t carry over to the real world.
Glass has encountered several problems: lack of software, poor screen, poor design, poor support, poor battery life, and a conclusive “So what?” from a lot of users. Google sold several Beta units at first, but several thousand ended up on e-Bay. The fact is that after the coolness factor wore off, consumers realized they could do things far better on other devices.
Why would you want to attempt to search the Internet on Glass when you can do it far more conveniently on your smartphone? Why would you want to watch a low resolution video on Glass when you can watch a high-definition video on your smartphone or even smartwatch? Why would you want to take pictures and video with your Glass when—once again—the quality is much better on your smartphone.
Google Glass does have one good use: driving directions. Having directions flash in the corner of your vision while driving is extremely helpful. It forces you to keep your eyes on the road instead of looking at your GPS or smartphone. The Google Glass GPS app is the most accurate one on any device.
Google has just announced that there are no plans to release the consumer version of Glass anytime soon. However, they Google claims they haven’t really given up on the project. Unfortunately, early adopters and tech enthusiasts have. Google’s Glass is a lesson on how poor marketing, bad quality control, and unnecessary hype can completely destroy a project that once had potential.