Two years ago, Google has hyped its Glasses device as the greatest thing since sliced bread -- and for a moment, many of us believed it.
During its launch, there was much enthusiasm on the part of the consumers and developers but now people seemed to be losing interest. (Whether that's because of the $1,500 price tag or the fact that you can't really find a place to buy it from remains unknown.)
While it may still sound supercool to geeks, Glass might not even reach the hands of the general public as developers are jumping out of the bandwagon. Some of them have felt the lack of support from Google, especially since an official public launch date is yet to be set. When Glass became available for developers in 2012, 10,000 units were reportedly sold. Then last year, it became available to tech lovers and media people but as of now, there's no news when it would become commercially available.
"It's not a big enough platform to play on seriously," said the founder of Normative Design Matthew Milan who discontinued their Glass app supposed to target fitness buffs.
According to Corliss Tech Review Group, out of more than a dozen Glass app developers, 9 have already put their efforts on hold owing to the limitations of the gadget and perceived lack of customers. Meanwhile, 3 of them have instead switched their focus on developing software for businesses.
"If there was 200 million Google Glasses sold, it would be a different perspective. There's no market at this point," said Tom Frencel, CEO of a game developer firm that held back its efforts to make a Glass game.
What's more, in the past 6 months, a number of Google employees responsible for the Glass development has reportedly left. Also, the Glass Collective, a funding consortium by Google Ventures has invested in only 3 startups this year and has taken down its website without notice. A spokesperson from Google Ventures said that the reason for the website closure is for entrepreneurs to come to them directly.
Google insists it's still committed to developing Glass. Chris O'Neill, its head of business ops said, "We are completely energized as ever about the opportunity that wearable and Glass in particular represent. We are as committed as ever to a consumer launch. That is going to take time and we are not going to launch this product until it's absolutely ready."
The formerly proud "Explorers" who go around the streets touting their Glasses are now getting flak for being "Glass holes". After all, no one really wants such evident threat to privacy hanging around in obvious, or obscure, places. In fact, someone from Google admitted himself that Glass is a perfect example of privacy issues concerning wearable devices.
Experts from Corliss Tech Review Group have already predicted that it's a tall order for Glass to be a mass-market gadget. It's more likely to go down the road of Segway; a supposedly cool invention that ended up being used only in professional and industrial settings.
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