I’m a big fan of wearable tech. I have just acquired my latest addition in the form of a full length leg brace to help with recovery from the ACL replacement surgery I recently ‘enjoyed.’ It’s a large RoboCop style contraption which certainly helps support the leg. As a piece of wearable tech it’s clearly an improvement on steel and leather straps I would have been given a few year back.
If rumors are to be believed Google Glass was going the way of the old leather and steel leg brace. There are multiple indicators that all is not well in GlassLand. Word has it that it’s getting less dev cycles spent on it in the GooglePlex and even Serge Brin has been seen without it at multiple high profile events lately. Add to that the continued drum beat of negative stories around the privacy issues this snoopy toy sets off it wouldn’t be surprising for Google to quietly let it and it’s 10,000 early adopters fade away into the sunset.
That was the theory anyway. The recent announcement by Intel that, as part of its continued push into wearable tech, it will be providing the brain for the next generation of Glass next year has us second guessing our selves…maybe reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated. Why would Intel partner up with Google to supply new CPUs to a discontinued product. It might be that even given the horrible PR mess Glass has been it’s still a large opportunity and if Google can get us used to the creepy device maybe we will start buying in volume. Maybe Google will do the work to get the product to the below $400 price point it needs to get to for mass market appeal. Maybe the growing interest in commercial uses such as medicine and manufacturing has led both Google and Intel to believe that there is a “there” there beyond individual users.
I have to believe that pretty much any other company faced with the PR nightmare and significant losses which Glass has created could be forgiven for walking away. Lord knows Google has abandoned many other projects and products over the years but perhaps given the continued growth around wearable and virtual reality technology Google will stay the course with Glass.