Google Glass is dead. Long live Google Glass.
That’s what Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt essentially insisted today in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. Actually, he specifically said it was still very much alive following January’s announcement that the Glass Explorer program was ending and Glass work moving from secret lab Google X to Google itself, under Tony Fadell, who heads Google’s Nest connected home division. Schmidt added that Glass will be the basis of “a big and very fundamental platform.”
But given how much it’s likely to be changed, Schmidt might have been better off pronouncing it dead. If new versions of Google Glass are to succeed, they need to change in a whole host of ways that literally will make it unrecognizable compared with the $1,500 version it sold to bleeding-edge people like me. After using it only intermittently for a year now, I think Schmidt is right that Glass could become a compelling product, but only if:
1) Google hides Glass behind actual glasses. No matter how elegant Google made Glass, that little block of plastic that serves as the screen is simply too weird-looking. In its current form, the device screams, “I’m a Glasshole.” Instead, as rumors indicate, Google will have to incorporate that screen into existing eyewear.