Google Glass was supposed to be the Next Big Thing, redefining wearable electronics as an era in which people walked around with computers strapped to their faces.
Instead, there’s a growing sense that Google Glass is in serious danger of irrelevancy. In November, Reuters reported that Glass developers and users were “losing interest” in the product, and that a handful of the former had dropped plans to develop apps for the device. “If there was 200 million Google Glasses sold, it would be a different perspective. There’s no market at this point,” one developer told the newswire. Plus, a lot of ordinary people don’t seem to like how they look with a computer strapped to their face.
And over at the newly revived ValleyWag, Dan Lyons has outright declared Glass a dead product: “Glass sucked. Now it’s done. This is a good thing.” He’s not the only one making a pronouncement along those lines.
Glass, which can display information on a tiny screen embedded in front of the right lens, currently retails for $1,500 on Google’s website. It’s hard to imagine millions of people shelling out that sort of cash for a device that hasn’t exactly ignited the popular imagination, with only a handful of apps and accessories to boot. Over the past year, there’s been some chatter about Glass becoming more of an enterprise-centric device for workers who need information fed to their eyeballs while they work with both hands, but Google hasn’t shifted its overarching strategy in that direction.
Can Google turn things around? Is there a way to make Glass a hit? Technology’s inevitable march forward could help the company’s strategy: If the underlying hardware becomes smaller and cheaper, Google has an opening to market a version of Glass virtually indistinguishable from a regular pair of glasses, aside from the aforementioned tiny screen in one of the lenses; priced at the right point, with a healthy ecosystem of apps, such a device could succeed. Maybe.