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  5. Google Glass: we take a look at the demise of the doomed smart specs

Google Glass: we take a look at the demise of the doomed smart specs

Google Glass: we take a look at the demise of the doomed smart specs

Whatever the official line, Google Glass is dead.

The search giant may be claiming that it is simply stopping selling the Explorer Edition of its smart specs and the team working on is just moving out of its blue sky X Labs to develop a successor under their own steam.

But orders will no longer be taken from the end of the week and while Glass development will be ongoing, whatever the product becomes, it won’t be getting a consumer release this year.

When it first launched, Google Glass was heralded as a kooky but cool vision of the future, a handy way to see a virtual world layered over everyday reality.

But fast forward two years and it’s easy to see why Google had to make such a bold move.

google glass

Make no bones about it, wearing Google Glass makes you look like an idiot.

Not least because they looked like a prop from cult kids show The Girl From The Year 3,000.

On top of that, they were not comfortable to wear for extended periods. When we donned them, we found them overly heavy on the camera side.

Crucially, though, they only worked for those with decent eyesight.

Thanks to a visual impairment, our experience was one of having to squint to see the floating screen and its advice on directions or where to grab lunch.

google glass basecamp

The touch panel on the side was clunky and while Google can argue Glass was a beta device, it felt like too much of an experiment to be sold to the public, especially at £1,000 a pop.

This is more than just an embarrassment for Google, though.

It opens up huge questions about the usefulness of wearables and how they dovetail with smartphones.

Clearly Google cannot see a commercial future in the smart glass space, at least not in the next couple of years.

Glass’s demise shows that the public isn’t ready for what was always seen as an intrusive product.

Do we really want products that can take sneaky pictures and encroach even further on privacy than the phones and smartwatches we already buy in droves? Seemingly not.

apple watch big blue

There is still a lot of work to be done to convince consumers to buy wearable tech, especially when their smartphone can do most of the things a smartwatch or smart specs can do, and all without them having to shell out more money for another product.

Glass will doubtless sell for a big price on eBay, even if its users have been left high and dry with a product which will soon be useless.

It will act as a cautionary tale too, especially as rivals such as Sony are already plotting rival efforts.

If a giant like Google can’t make such futuristic tech work, then who can?

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