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Google Displays Input Devices Hardware

For Some Would-Be Google Glass Buyers and Devs, Delays May Mean Giving Up 154

ErnieKey writes with a Reuters story that says Google's Glass, not yet out for general purchase, has been wearing on the patience of both developers and would-be customers: "After an initial burst of enthusiasm, signs that consumers are giving up on Glass have been building.' Is it true that Google Goggles are simply not attractive to wear? Or perhaps it's the invasion of privacy that is deterring people from wearing them. Regardless, Google needs to change something quickly before they lose all their potential customers. From the article: Of 16 Glass app makers contacted, nine said that they had stopped work on their projects or abandoned them, mostly because of the lack of customers or limitations of the device. Three more have switched to developing for business, leaving behind consumer projects. Plenty of larger developers remain with Glass. The nearly 100 apps on the official website include Facebook and OpenTable, although one major player recently defected: Twitter. "If there was 200 million Google Glasses sold, it would be a different perspective. There's no market at this point," said Tom Frencel, the chief executive of Little Guy Games, which put development of a Glass game on hold this year and is looking at other platforms, including the Facebook-owned virtual-reality goggles Oculus Rift. Several key Google employees instrumental to developing Glass have left the company in the last six months, including lead developer Babak Parviz, electrical engineering chief Adrian Wong, and Ossama Alami, director of developer relations.
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For Some Would-Be Google Glass Buyers and Devs, Delays May Mean Giving Up

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  • Early adopters (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tomhath ( 637240 ) on Sunday November 16, 2014 @10:29AM (#48396349)

    Google needs to change something quickly before they lose all their potential customers.

    They might not be losing potential customers. Perhaps the market is just already saturated.

    • Re:Early adopters (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rudy_wayne ( 414635 ) on Sunday November 16, 2014 @10:49AM (#48396409)

      Google needs to change something quickly before they lose all their potential customers.

      They might not be losing potential customers. Perhaps the market is just already saturated.

      Exactly. Everyone who is willing to drop $1500 on a gadget that is nothing more than a solution searching for a problem, has already done so.

      • Re:Early adopters (Score:4, Insightful)

        by postbigbang ( 761081 ) on Sunday November 16, 2014 @10:55AM (#48396435)

        The fulcrum of backlash against the device in an almost uniform, vehement, and studied way exposing Google's complete disdain for respect of privacy might have something to do with it as well. Pulling back the Oz Curtain and exposing that Google's business model is the complete ownership of your personal information for their profit might be just too much advance with just one product.

        • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

          by xevioso ( 598654 )

          No one owns your information, least of all you. It's publicly accessible information that Joe Schmuckatelli lives at 1234 Schmuckatelli Lane. Dig a little further and you find out that Mr. Schmucklatelli went to a certain high school in a certain town. You don't own this information, and neither do they. They just aggregate it and make it easily available. What's wrong with that?

          • They've been caught opening emails and clicking on contained urls. What wrong with that?

            • by fred911 ( 83970 )

              Who's "they"? Google? I'm going to have to call BS here. Please provide a reference. If your email is ever looked at by a human, it would never have any identifying information and the only reason a human would look at it is to assure the ads are relevant or results from an algorithm return are useful and of high quality. These uses are expressly disclosed in the TOS you agreed to when you opted to use their services.

              The times Google has screwed up (street view issues and WIFI mapping) they've admit

              • Pay no mind to Oligonicella, he's just a raving asshole. All of his posts are very similarly sarcastic and condescending.

            • If any URLs were ever "clicked", it would probably be a result of gmail's rather aggressive anti-spam system looking for signs that it's a phishing site.

          • If you can't see the difference between the two situations and the social/privacy problems involved, you're not thinking hard enough.

        • I was incredibly interested in Google Glass but when I found out it would be uploading everything to Google; that they were essentially useless without sharing everything with Google, I was immediately and completely turned off.

      • I would have bought one ages ago if they'd fucking sell them outside the US.

        They should have realized that Americans would be the least receptive people on earth to this thing.

      • It's a combination of this and the cultural offensiveness of the device. Google Glass as it exists is functionally nothing more than wearing a recording device and tiny external screen attached to your head for $1500, wearing one is like walking around very conspicuously pointing a camera at everyone near you all the time. Now compare that with the Eyetap, which has been around for decades at this point. The Eyetap actually processes and enhances your vision in realtime giving you a HUD or displaying inform

        • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
          So, because Glass doesn't have invasive HUD, it's offensive, but because Eyetap is a conspicuous camera pointed at everyone near you all the time, it's perfectly acceptable.
      • Everyone who is willing to drop $1500 on a gadget that is nothing more than a solution searching for a problem, has already done so.

        Surely not both of them!

      • What the Segway folks didn't count on was that top Segway speeds would never be compatible with walking speed on a sidewalk. What the Google folks didn't count on was that Google Glass would never be compatible with folks who don't want to feel like everyone is watching/recording them. Google Glass is going to end up s a niche product, just like the Segway.
        • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
          People with an irrational fear of people looking at them shouldn't go out in public without properly psychological help.
    • Re:Early adopters (Score:5, Informative)

      by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Sunday November 16, 2014 @11:02AM (#48396457)

      As a GG app developer, let me give my perspective. There are plenty of potential applications, and few of those involve wandering around in public while wearing them. I developed an app for classroom management. The teacher wears the GG, and sees a "popup" whenever a student is stuck. The student could indicate this by using a clicker, or it could be indicated automatically if the student has several consecutive failures while using computerized learning, such as Khan Academy. This would be most useful for flipped classrooms [wikipedia.org] so the teacher does not need to return to the desktop dashboard between helping students, but can go from student-to-student-to-student. I also worked on a warehouse app, that would guide pickers to the destination rack and shelf. But I gave up. The problem is that GG seems to be stuck in "beta" forever, with no roadmap to ever turn into an actual released product. It is supposed to only be for "developers", and only for a price of $1500, which is way, way too high for broad applications. Google needs to get this product out, to the general public, at a reasonable price (~ $100). If they don't, it is going to die, or be replaced by a product from a company that knows how to ship a product.

      • As a GG app developer, let me give my perspective.

        As a longtime GG user [thenakedscientists.com], perspective is a dim and distant memory.

  • by Tyr07 ( 2300912 ) on Sunday November 16, 2014 @10:32AM (#48396361) Homepage

    It's just taking to long to get released. People get over things eventually. It's been out of reach for the average person. I would have loved to have one, I think it's the future, more convenient, and people will get used to it.

    But I swear it feels like it's been five years since these were announced. How long am I supposed to care before I go fuck it and move on to something else to play with and explore? I moved on. So did other people.

    The only people waiting for them are the same people who are friendzoned and thinking it will change. Google, you have friendzoned us with your google glasses, and more men these days are getting the picture and moving on.

  • by rudy_wayne ( 414635 ) on Sunday November 16, 2014 @10:54AM (#48396429)

    There's no market at this point," said Tom Frencel, the chief executive of Little Guy Games, which put development of a Glass game on hold this year and is looking at other platforms

    And why do we need games for Google Glass?

    Google Glass is a good example of the old saying "Just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean you SHOULD."

    • And why do we need games for Google Glass?

      Well gee, what else do you expect people to do when they're driving?
      • And why do we need games for Google Glass?

        Well gee, what else do you expect people to do when they're driving?

        Watch pron, obviously.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Sunday November 16, 2014 @11:14AM (#48396489)

    The market is probably saturated, but only because the item is only appealing to a very small market.

    First and foremost, you need someone who'd want an always on cellphone display mounted right in front of his eye. Now, I could see me wanting this. Granted, I've been into wearable computing for a while now, but I could well see a lot of people who can't take their fingers off their cellphone long enough to hold down a sensible conversation to want a HMD. That certainly would not be the problem, I can well see a lot of technically interested people wanting something like this. And if the "group selector" ended here, there would actually probably be a huge market for this item.

    Then there's the price, which pretty much eliminates the under-21 crowd, arguably one of the biggest early adopters today. Face it, if some cellphone has some new feature, rest assured some high school kid will bind itself to some cell company for longer than their average relationship lasts so they can afford it. Since there is no such thing with Google Glass and the item costs quite a pretty penny, what's left after these two are technologically inclined people with quite a bit of money to spare on what is essentially a novelty luxury item.

    The last nail for the coffin is Google itself. Google now doesn't really have a reputation of not wanting to know everything their customers do. That's basically their business model. They sell information. And with Google Glass you'd not only not know where it's been, you also won't know where it is going. And even if they themselves don't really care about privacy, it also means that their friends and collegues must not care about it, or else ... why bother buying something that you can't really use as soon as anyone is nearby? Because the VERY FIRST thing I'd ask a Google Glass user to do is take the thing off while I'm around. Alternatively I'll remove it from his nose.

    So the market is for technically inclined people who have good enough jobs to afford this luxury who are neither worried about their privacy nor have coworkers or friends who are.

    And that market is REALLY tiny.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Tyr07 ( 2300912 )

      Fair enough, I can see not wanting google glass around you.

      By the way, shut your android or apple phone off whenever you are near me, as it can record audio and video, it also knows exactly where you are at all times, if I have mine on, it knows we're standing next to each other. Especially if it's an apple phone, apparently I hear all calls are recorded by apple.
      You're already giving all your information to these companies anyway, and if you want to discriminate against a chosen piece of technology that pe

      • Internet tough guy wants to remove my phone from my pocket? You do know that a cellphone located inside a pocket cannot record any useful video, right? It must be taken out, turned on, and aimed at your tough face before I can record you. At which point it will be obvious to anyone that I'm recording.

        On the other hand, a Google Glass wearer is in position to record at any time and it's impossible for others to tell whether they're being videoed or not, aside from an indicator light (which may or may not be

      • Nice non-sequitur.

      • If you don't like it, you can take it up with the fact that I'm 6'3 and have done roofing, likely can prevent you from removing any of my technology and it would be at your own peril.

        "bouncer"

        1)The big fat guy standing in front of the doorway of stripclubs. He doesn't want any trouble, but if you hit him, he has every right to pummel you to mush.
        They also guard doorways to celebrity parties. The rich guy bouncers are less round and more built, and can easily throw you out of a bulletproof window, but can't overturn cars.

        2) A bouncer is the first face you see when entering a bar, pub, or night club. They tend to be large and muscular. their job is to make sure that the bar is safe

        • Even more pertinently, bouncers tend not to work alone. Your 1337 roofing skills may give you the edge over one guy, but it's less likely you will be able to "take out" three or four of them.
      • If you don't like it, you can take it up with the fact that I'm 6'3 and have done roofing, likely can prevent you from removing any of my technology and it would be at your own peril.

        I love watching people square up to a fight on slashdot. I like the non-sequiteur about roofing (I actually had my house re-roofed recently and the roofer was distinctly normal sized), but bragging about your size and prowess makes me imagine you as a 5'6" 90lb guy, who's probably petrified of going half way up a ladder.

      • Could we have a business meeting? Preferably all day, every day? You see, I'd LOVE to turn that bugging device off, but my boss insists that I have it with me.

        That's maybe what I forgot to write: Google Glass doesn't have any kind of corporation backing that forces people to use it, like it or not.

        • by Tyr07 ( 2300912 )

          So if someones boss demands they keep their google glass on you'll have mutual respect?

          You could always just start with not threatening the adoption of technology by people because their monitor everything everyone does device is more obvious that your monitor everything everyone does device.

          • The problem with GG here is that by definition it is always visible. And it will never be as much a status symbol as the cellphone was in its early days when it was a mark of someone being important 'cause he has to be reachable all the time.

            Cellphones went through a rather lengthy development phase, and only recently they have become the surveillance tools they are today. GG was this right from the start. Do you think cells would have such an acceptance in business circles today if they had been a security

            • by Tyr07 ( 2300912 )

              No, you're right on that I don't think they would have been accepted.

              However, now that they are, it's done. It's too late. Being mad at a different device doing it is insanity.

              I could understand people who refute all technology that has this behavior, but not when it comes down to the model of the object doing it.

              • Hey, we're all right with making a distinct discrimination between two near identical problems, demonizing one while accepting the other. From various diseases (just think about the insane difference made between swine flu and common flu, despite not really being THAT different in impact... ok, actually your chance to die of the former was by some margin lower than the latter despite the general panic).

                We're great at making mountains out of molehills that we don't really know that well while we're quite ok

      • the fact that I'm 6'3 and have done roofing,

        I read that as "63" (as in years) and couldn't for the life of me work out why it was supposed to sound tough.

        "I'm 85 and used to play football, so don't mess with me, young man".

    • That's basically their business model. They sell information.

      Well, that's what people believe their business model is, even though it's not. Google sells eyeballs, not information.

    • I would pay 1500 for the device if all it did was cause you to try to knock it off my nose. I like fighting, and a self defense defense is gold.

  • I had initially been interested in Google Glass initially as well, though I didn't really expect to buy one soon. I figured I'd wait a generation or two and for the resolution to be Full-HD and all the kinks worked out. I had expressed my curiosity about Google Glass to my wife who flat out said no way because of the nerdy look in public. Still I followed the progress passively and it never came and it never came. I figured we be on generation 3 by now.

    Now Oculus Rift is on my radar – my wife is l

  • From my observations putting a camera on it was a fatal decision. It really turned people off, myself included. Every time I met a glasshole the whole having a camera lense in your face, even if it wasn't turned on, was really annoying. All the focus on the device turned away from the innovative display and onto the stupid camera. I have hopes for the display technology in an improved form but Google needs to focus on that. Unfortunatly the damage done means it will take a bit until people take wearable co
    • I would really love to try skype videoconferencing with that. We do lots of calls at work to remotely troubleshot some piece of hardware, discuss an experiment in progress, etc. It may be practical if the remote party sees what the wearer sees, while his hands are free to do things. I would have already bought GG for my lab if it were freely available for purchase. And, I don't really care about the price. One of my students applied for GG developer version last year, but did not get one.

      Just have one ap
      • P.S. It must fit over my prescription glasses, though. Over the right eye please. And it must have 2 hours full HD video time on full charge. And it must go on wi-fi... we don't have reliable mobile reception at the workplace. But I don't care if the device is wired, or wirable, to an external battery that I could keep in my pocket or on my belt, and pass the power cable under my shirt. That would actually be okay.
    • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
      Funny that on Slashdot, there are so many that insist that words don't cause harm, are the same ones that insist that looking at someone else causes harm.
  • by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Sunday November 16, 2014 @11:40AM (#48396567)

    Is it true that Google Goggles are simply not attractive to wear?

    Partly. They aren't stylish nor are they useful enough to overcome that deficit. But that isn't really even among the biggest problems with Google Glass.

    1) People who don't need corrective lenses don't generally want to wear glasses. I wore glasses for 17 years before I had lasik and there isn't a way in hell you would get me to wear glasses again except for safety, eye strain or vision correction.

    2) People don't generally like to use voice interfaces particularly in public. You don't see a lot of people using Siri out in public so why should Google Glass be any different

    3) People are creeped out by the privacy issues even if many of the critiques aren't really justified.

    4) They don't fit gracefully into most people's lifestyle. Much of the functionality of Google Glass is already covered by smartphones. Why do I need this conspicuous and much more annoying device second device to do something I mostly already have? It doesn't scratch any itch I have.

    5) The best uses for it are more industrial - particularly augmented reality uses. Think work instructions while building a complicated assembly. But Google seems to largely be ignoring these.

    • 5) The best uses for it are more industrial - particularly augmented reality uses. Think work instructions while building a complicated assembly. But Google seems to largely be ignoring these.

      Exactly. Do your gen I stuff in a smaller environment that is less price averse. The problem is that it doesn't fit Google's business plan - not enough 'customer' info in a few, likely secured, industries. Google should spin it off to another company that can figure out how to make it work on it's own.

    • by Greyfox ( 87712 )
      That pretty well covers it. I also don't like the screen off to the side like that. I want to be able to overlay an augmented-reality HUD over what I'm looking at. That would actually be potentially useful. Having to take my eyes off what I'm looking at and glance at a screen, not so much. Hell I'd be OK with a single color pixels, if the entire lens was the screen.
    • " I wore glasses for 17 years before I had lasik and there isn't a way in hell you would get me to wear glasses again except for safety, eye strain or vision correction."

      So under what do you file "bright Sun" or "Style"?

      • by sjbe ( 173966 )

        So under what do you file "bright Sun" or "Style"?

        Google Glass is not made for bright sun (though they could fix that I guess) and they sure as hell aren't stylish. They look like the geeky research project they are.

        If you have to wear glasses for a functional reason then it is fine to worry (a little) about how they look. Anyone who wears glasses purely for style without a functional reason is a douche.

        Oh and bright sun = eyestrain. Seemed obvious to me...

  • Twitter itself is becoming an advertising / corporate platform, perhaps not the social media magnate it once was. I'd argue that, if Glass is dead, so is twitter - or at least heading that way, and that perhaps while their assessment holds true, maybe they need to rethink their own business model.

  • To centralize things like push update APIs. So they're less resource intensive. Security, should be the best available. And a streaming interface, for high bandwidth apps. All of which needs to be done before it gets released to the open source community. Since it's all audio it could use very little bandwidth, less than 24kbps. I think it's a bad idea and I'd never use one, for trust issues, but google seems to be pretty good at OS design (Android, not chrome) and as a VOIP hardware provider ForeverPhone (
  • It is an axiom of sales that delays will always mean that some will give up. Whether it's a 5 second wait for a web page to load, or a 5 month wait for a new computer, a delay always means you will lose some customers.

  • by beltsbear ( 2489652 ) on Sunday November 16, 2014 @12:49PM (#48396861)

    Google needs to make a glass without the camera. One that is OBVIOUSLY different to the average person so they do not mistake it for the one with the camera. That could take some of the stigma away from the device. It could look much more like a regular pair of glasses. Sure, half of the applications need the camera, but many ideas do not, and it would reduce the cost. The technology and the software could mature without the social stigma and would have a good chance.

  • They make me angry (Score:3, Insightful)

    by EmperorOfCanada ( 1332175 ) on Sunday November 16, 2014 @12:52PM (#48396875)
    I was walking in the park this summer and these two arrogant looking douchebags were wearing them. I then realized that I lumped them in with smokers as people who just don't give a crap about other people's rights. I have a right to a pollution free environment, and I have a right to not have my every move tracked by a mega corporation.

    So my friend called them glassholes loud enough for them to hear and they didn't even flinch. Obviously not the first person to call them this. When people regularly abuse users of a product then maybe there should be a rethink of the use of that product.

    I don't mind someone biking by with their gopro seeing that not every moment is being made available to a faceless corporation. Unless I burst into flames while the gopro person is going by the footage will doubtfully be uploaded. But with any google ass type technology there is a huge chance that some software is able to make a note of my face, place, time, the faces around me, etc. Then this can easily be used to compile a stunningly comprehensive summation of my life. If only 5% of people were wearing them then 1 in 20 people that you pass would be able to note your presence. Without any other information about me that would allow google to compile a map of where I live, where I work, where my friends and family live, who I am in a relationship with, that I have kids, where I shop, where I vacation, everything. Then as this technology gets better it could even start going nuts (and it isn't like google doesn't love more information) and gathering what I wear, what I am buying, etc.

    While google glass isn't anywhere near that yet, these things are very close, and why wouldn't google gather this fantastically valuable information. They can swear on a stack of bibles that they won't be evil, but I don't remember ever hearing of google's massive storage being audited. Not to mention that they could use familiar weasel words like "Only collecting meta data."

    So I for one am extremely happy to hear that this project is falling flat on its face.
    • I don't mind someone biking by with their gopro seeing that not every moment is being made available to a faceless corporation. Unless I burst into flames while the gopro person is going by the footage will doubtfully be uploaded.

      Think again — people are uploading that footage even when it's boring. Just take a look at youtube. Some guy uploaded a video of him riding a motorcycle over the 175 Hopland Grade slower than I've whipped it in an Astro, and I told him so :) But seriously, people are uploading every total yawn of a video they shoot, and other people are watching them and even giving them the thumbs-up.

  • Glass is a nice thing. It's also frustrating as all heck in it's limitations. I want the text on all the signs I read auto translated for me - and overlaid in such a way as to hide the original language text. I want to see the arrows on the ground/roadway showing me where to turn left, not get a tiny message up above my field of vision.

    I want it to give me full on AR, not just auxiliary information.

    Me, I'm hoping that Meta can get the price of these down a bit: https://www.spaceglasses.com/ [spaceglasses.com]

    • I was hoping that Meta's device would be an Eyetap [wikipedia.org], every time I see someone say "Me, I'm hoping..." in one of these discussions, that's what I'm hoping for. Simply not having to correct for parallax would be better than clever schemes which don't always work well. Although probably at this point we'll have to wait for it to be implemented as a contact lens

  • Google Glass was doomed the second the term Glasshole was coined. They need a complete rebranding for these to be successful. I also think they should have promoted them as utilitarian objects instead of fashion items.

  • by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Sunday November 16, 2014 @02:23PM (#48397337)

    Couldn't be something to do with much of the world now hearing 'NSA' whenever anyone says 'Google'?

    No-one wants the NSA watching everything they do when a Glasshole is nearby.

  • by Edward Kmett ( 123105 ) on Sunday November 16, 2014 @04:40PM (#48398069) Homepage

    I bought a pair, hoping to explore using it to keep notes for my slides and help track time when I'm doing a presentation and the like.

    I bought it right after Facebook did the Oculus Rift acquisition, when I canceled my dev-kit order, and I wanted a thing I could fiddle around for development purposes.

    So far in exchange for my trouble, I mostly get to stop and answer questions about Google Glass several times a day when I wear them. That much isn't so bad.

    Now I have a device I wear that has to maintain a constant link to my phone, draining its battery, so now I have to recharge two devices faster and I can't use it as 'more convenient' navigation without getting out my phone anyway to go to the app to turn on GPS, so its day-to-day usage is just flat-out painful.

    Oh, and I have to carry an extra pair of glasses, despite having switched the Glass to prescription lenses.

    Why? If I walk to work, which takes about an hour and a half, if I use the glass at all during the trip, it is typically out of juice by the end of the walk, so now I have to plug my glasses in at the office, which means I need to get out another pair so I can still see.

    And I better remember to carry the case, because if I go to the movie, the MPAA will get me arrested if I forget and wear them in, but since they don't fold up, I have to choose between a huge hard case or a big bulky pouch I'm constantly worried will go crunch.

    Oh, and I'd better switch to my real glasses when I drive, lest I get arrested for that, too.

    Oh, and if I walk by a school I get paranoid parents who think I'm out to take candid shots of their precious children, despite having a third party lens cap on.

    I've had some punk kid try to rip them off my face and run on the T, so there is an apparently increased theft risk.

    Now, because they polarize the glass in the prism they use to reflect light to your eye you can't get the lenses polarized or treated with any sort of anti-glare, but if you walk around in sunlight light reflects off the bottom of the prism into your eye constantly.

    There is a little bit of silver mirroring that is just deposited on the end of the prism -- not covered with anything. I went for a walk in Australia on a humid, high UV day. It just flaked off, which effectively dropped my screen to about 10% brightness. They did replace it, but it meant a few weeks without a device, during which I decided I didn't really miss the inconvenience.

    So in exchange for $1700 or so (after adding prescription lenses) I get to get called a glasshole by the internet and get treated as a even evil child-stalker road-hazard pirate pariah by society, and have to carry another pair of glasses anyways.

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