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What Will Google Glass 2.0 Need To Actually Succeed? 324

Nerval's Lobster writes As previously rumored, Google has discontinued selling Google Glass, its augmented-reality headset... but it could be coming out with something new and (supposedly) improved. The company has placed a relentlessly positive spin on its decision: "Glass was in its infancy, and you took those very first steps and taught us how to walk," reads a posting on the Google+ page for Glass. "Well, we still have some work to do, but now we're ready to put on our big kid shoes and learn how to run." Formerly a project of the Google X research lab, Glass will now be overseen by Tony Fadell, the CEO of Google subsidiary (and Internet of Things darling) Nest; more than a few Glass users are unhappy with Google's decision. If Google's move indeed represents a quiet period before a relaunch, rather than an outright killing of the product, what can it do to ensure that Glass's second iteration proves more of a success? Besides costing less (the original Glass retailed for $1,500 from Google's online storefront), Google might want to focus on the GoPro audience, or simply explain to consumers why they actually need a pair of glasses with an embedded screen. What else could they do to make Glass 2.0 (whatever it looks like) succeed?
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What Will Google Glass 2.0 Need To Actually Succeed?

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  • Size (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fxsoap ( 1562569 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2015 @04:23PM (#48868551)

    The hardest problem I've seen people have with Google Glass is how obvious it is you are wearing the glasses. People in public assume you are recording them and it bothers them.

    If you over come that, I think it would be a fantastic barrier to remove.

    After that, give me a utility for these glasses that make me want to buy them/wear them/use them that benefits me beyond what I have or can have now.

    That will make them much more attractive in many ways.

    • Re:Size (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) * on Wednesday January 21, 2015 @04:53PM (#48868885)

      The hardest problem I've seen people have with Google Glass is how obvious it is you are wearing the glasses. People in public assume you are recording them and it bothers them.

      If you over come that, I think it would be a fantastic barrier to remove.

      So, you have no issues with people recording you when you don't know about it?

      You think is OK for some Glasshole to walk into a restaurant where you are enjoying a public yet private dinner with a friend, record it and put it up on the Intertubes? You are OK with that. I mean, it is a "public" place, right?

      I know, public places and all, just posing the question...

      • Re:Size (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Smidge204 ( 605297 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2015 @04:59PM (#48868949) Journal

        It's very, very difficult to get upset over things you don't know about.

        Doesn't stop some people from trying, though...
        =Smidge=

      • Re:Size (Score:4, Insightful)

        by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2015 @05:09PM (#48869077) Homepage Journal

        "You think is OK for some Glasshole to walk into a restaurant where you are enjoying a public yet private dinner with a friend"
        You keep using that word but I do not think you know what it means.
        YOU'RE IN PUBLIC AND NO EXPECTATIONS OF PRIVACY!
        Now if you book a private dining room you have some expectation of privacy.

        In other words you can not have a public yet private anything. The very thought that you could strikes me as just odd.

        • If someone takes out their phone and starts to record you having dinner with a friend would you be upset? At least you'd know about it.

          • On the flip side, since the camera is front facing ( so you know what you are recording, I doubt it could HUD _AND_ compress AND upload to remote storage worth a shit ) you would know if some dude was recording you with glass too... he would have to stare at you the whole time.

      • Re:Size (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2015 @05:21PM (#48869275)

        So, you have no issues with people recording you when you don't know about it?

        You think is OK for some Glasshole to walk into a restaurant where you are enjoying a public yet private dinner with a friend, record it and put it up on the Intertubes? You are OK with that. I mean, it is a "public" place, right?

        You're already being recorded at your public yet private dinner with a friend. Nearly every restaurant has had a security camera system recording 24/7 for a couple decades, apparently without you knowing about it. And yes the recordings sometimes get posted on the internet [youtube.com].

        The problem here isn't Google Glass. The problem is a disconnect between reality and your perception of it. All Google Glass is guilty of is educating you that your perception is wrong.

      • I'm saving my "stop spying on me" outrage for the government. When we arrest Brennan and dismantle the NSA, then I'll have some room on my plate to get mad at individual people who might be filming me without my consent.
      • So, you have no issues with people recording you when you don't know about it?

        If somebody is recording you with a smartphone it's generally pretty obvious, most people using a smartphone aren't pointing the camera up at people when they are just sending texts or browsing the web so when somebody is holding their phone up like that it's a fair bet they are taking pictures or video. Google Glass is the equivalent of always holding your phone up in peoples' faces and then constantly saying "oh but I'm not recording".

        That's the perception problem. Google Glass isn't the equivalent of sur

      • "So, you have no issues with people recording you when you don't know about it?

        You think is OK for some Glasshole to walk into a restaurant where you are enjoying a public yet private dinner with a friend, record it and put it up on the Intertubes?"

        No, I'm not okay with it. But the restaurant is already recording me. The other patrons in the restaurant already have the capability to record me as well without it looking like they are doing anything more than playing with their phone. On top of that there are
    • I always figured that they just need an LED light to shine if they are recording or now. Not perfect but at least they know.

      • I always figured that they just need an LED light to shine if they are recording or now. Not perfect but at least they know.

        ...Which a small dot of black paint will easily cover up.

    • by Darth Muffin ( 781947 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2015 @05:32PM (#48869421) Homepage
      My wife was a glass "explorer" and bought one, so I've got to try it some and watched her use it. Problems that I see are:
      - Poor battery life
      - Slow processor (what people really want to do with this is like augmented reality, and it's not quite got the horsepower)
      - Lack of any apps that do something useful to most people that you can't do with a standard android device (just a gimmick at this point).
      - Small and low-res screen, can't fit much useful info on it.
      - Fragile

      Honestly, the dorky looks and people freaking out because of privacy issues weren't an issue that we saw.
      Most of the "explorers" are pretty mad that they spent $1500 to be abandoned. Google should at least offer a seriously discounted trade-up to the release model for them, but there is no talk of that. I doubt most explorers will buy it again.
      • by Matheus ( 586080 )

        My number one reason that it wasn't for me? Price. $1500 is more than I was willing to spend for what it had to offer.

        SO I never got to your list of what was wrong with it. If it needs to have my smart phone around for functionality (can't honestly remember) then I wouldn't spend more than $300 on it. If it can completely operate stand-alone then I'd put it in my high-end smart phone range of maybe a $800 cap assuming it had comparable specs.

        After checking out Microsoft's forthcoming (someday) Hololens

    • The hardest problem I've seen people have with Google Glass is how obvious it is you are wearing the glasses. People in public assume you are recording them and it bothers them.

      If you over come that, I think it would be a fantastic barrier to remove.

      Does that really address the problem? People don't like the idea that Google Glass can be used to record them covertly, so your solution is to make it more covert?

      • by unrtst ( 777550 )

        Does that really address the problem? People don't like the idea that Google Glass can be used to record them covertly, so your solution is to make it more covert?
        I haven't seen any of them yelling about all the other camholes out there (anyone using a camera to record anything, especially those with pinhole cams, or actual secret cameras). If you want glasses that'll record stuff fairly discreetly, you can even get this toy (ages 8+) for $25: http://www.amazon.com/Spy-Gear... [amazon.com]
        That looks like fairly normal pair of sunglasses, and probably takes a better pic than google glass. There's TONS of similar things out there that are readily avaialble, and no ones really yelling about those.

    • Re:Size (Score:5, Insightful)

      by interkin3tic ( 1469267 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2015 @05:51PM (#48869645)
      I don't understand why it needs to have a camera on it. I just want a heads up display. It requires a smartphone right? Are there ANY smartphones which do not already have a camera on it?

      If I'm walking along reading a text on a glass display and I see Bigfoot, I could pull out my phone and use that camera. Not having a camera on the glass itself would not be an issue. Bigfoot could say "Hey man, could you not film me," and I could put my phone back in my pocket and apologize. Then bigfoot would say "Are you still filming me with that google glass?" and I could say "No, it's glass 2, so there's no camera" and he would say "Oh cool, now I know I'm not being filmed and I can relax. Hey, have you seen 'Harry and the Hendersons.'" And I could say "Uh... I'm watching it right now!"

      With the camera on there, I would assure him I'm not filming him still, and he'd still be nervous, and then might rip my head off. That's why I won't be buying a glass with a camera on it. I like my head where it is.
    • Not just size, but I think it needs to stop focusing on the consumer market. They're a couple of generations out from getting is small and useful enough that consumers will adopt it -- even if they make it very small, it's not going to be totally hidden and people will get anxious about whether they're being recorded or not.

      But in the commercial space, every single person on an assembly line could benefit from this -- the F-35 has projects and computer vision systems to overlay work instructions, rivet
    • In other words change the device from nothing more than a tiny secondary screen and ubiquitous offensive recording system to something actually functional... yknow... like Steve Mann's EyeTap, that thing that's been around for over a decade now.

    • by unrtst ( 777550 )

      I agree on the obviousness. If possible, I think they should have something that can work with a variety of existing glasses, and multiple styles of their own (like lots and lots), including completely covert ones. With all the folks threatening to beat down on anyone with a camera on their face, it makes more sense to give up on making it obvious (as google glass 1.0 was), and definitely don't go adding red recording lights and stuff.

      As for utility, the single biggest hope/wish I have is for some tech that

  • Less creepiness (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2015 @04:27PM (#48868603)

    I've only been around a few people wearing Google Glass, and I had the stress / self-consciousness of constantly wondering if I was being filmed. That was not an enjoyable sensation.

    Unless Glass 2.0 can make that issue go away, people are still going to want to punch Glassholes.

    • Re:Less creepiness (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ClintJCL ( 264898 ) <`moc.liamg' `ta' `todhsals+lcjtnilc'> on Wednesday January 21, 2015 @04:47PM (#48868819) Homepage Journal
      Oh look... Someone justifying assault by implying that the victim is an asshole. Meanwhile, people who justify assault are..... Not(?) assholes?
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anrego ( 830717 ) *

        Horrible as it is, this is a battle of social acceptance. Google wants wearing a camera on your face to become socially acceptable. Those of us who don't want to see this become the norm want to make sure it doesn't become socially acceptable.

        Unfortunately the best way to achieve this is by being hostile towards people wearing the damn thing. Just as walking up to some random couple at a bar, pulling out your cellphone, and pointing the camera at them would likely attract hostility as a non-socially accepta

        • It's good to see the same fallacies dragged out over and over again. Helps cement the fact that wrong people aren't wrong due to being misinformed, but because they choose to repeat the same mantras to themselves over and voer again. I think I understand why the world is so full of violence now.
        • Ban it in your own home, sure, but don't be a luddite and ruin it for the rest of us.
      • Oh look... Someone justifying assault by implying that the victim is an asshole. Meanwhile, people who justify assault are..... Not(?) assholes?

        Reporting an urge to commit an act is not the same as justifying it.

        • Sure. Literally, it did not.

          In context? Switch out some of the nouns and verbs, and you get:

          s/they/women/; #(men can get raped too) s/google glass/short skirts/; s/Glassholes/Sluts In Short Skirts/; #update pejorative s/punch/rape/; #update verb s/America/Saudi Arabia/; #helps my metaphor

          You get:

          Unless Saudi Women can make their short skirts less sexy, people are still going to want to rape Sluts In Short Skirts.

          Sure, literally that does not justify it because they don't use the word jus

          • You're not fooling me.

            I'm not sure why you think you're in a position to judge my motives, but I'm not interested in trying to convince you. I hope you enjoy the rest of your day.

    • Re:Less creepiness (Score:4, Insightful)

      by duranaki ( 776224 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2015 @04:48PM (#48868829)
      I've only been around one person with Glass and I never felt self-conscious or worried that they might be recording me. I constantly see cellphones in positions that *could* be recording me, but probably aren't. I wonder why we're okay with people always having their phones out, but seeing someone in fancy glasses makes us paranoid? Sure, it's more subtle with Glass, so? I suspect people only care because the media made such a big deal about it, enough so that they had to coin the term "Glassholes". But most people have never seen a Glasshole. I haven't. I mean the penetration of Glass is so tiny, how could you encounter people wearing Glass enough to form a stereotype about them?

      That said, maybe next iteration could feature a bright white LED that flashes to let everyone know you are recording. And Google can then make a big push to inform people that No-Light=No-Recording. Would that reduce the creepiness? I'd hate to lose the camera, it enables a ton of awesome use cases. I suppose then we'd just hear ghost stories about people crippling the LED so they could once again be creepy.
    • I've been around a few Glass users. I didn't find it creepy from the recording aspect since we are already recorded everywhere already anyway.

      I do think it just plain looks ugly though, and bulky enough I wouldn't want it on my face. That was the thing I never got about Glass really - people generally don't wear glasses if they can help it, to the point where people have invasive laser surgery so they don't have to wear glasses... suddenly we are supposed to want to wear them all the time? It just never m

  • Killer App (Score:4, Funny)

    by darkain ( 749283 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2015 @04:31PM (#48868635) Homepage

    It needs a killer app... like one that shoots lasers that kills people.

  • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2015 @04:31PM (#48868639)
    So long as there are glassholes, google glass will not succeed.

    .
    Unfortunately, google cannot control the people who use google glass, so there will always be glassholes and google glass won't succeed.

  • Shutter (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jklovanc ( 1603149 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2015 @04:32PM (#48868661)

    A visible physical shutter that can be moved over the camera lens to prove that one is not recording video. I realize that it does not deal with people not near enough to see the shutter but at least it will put the people at the table at ease. This is not a perfect solution but it might help.

    • Or maybe something like a visible recording light? The way camcorders have a red light that shows it's recording?

      Yes, someone could potentially disable the light or put tape over it, but it would be something.

    • Make the cap bright orange and if it's bright enough to see someone wearing the device, they see that it's capped.

  • A compelling use case, a way to use it without looking like a total glasshole, good battery life, no pictures of screaming Robert Scoble in the shower?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 21, 2015 @04:35PM (#48868691)

    All Google needs to do is remove the camera. That way, it can still be used for notifications, searches of information and other overlays, and nobody needs to be worried about constantly being recorded. This reduces it to a simple HUD, but let's face it, everybody's smartphone is already a camera.

  • by mykepredko ( 40154 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2015 @04:37PM (#48868705) Homepage

    There are a number of markets/professions where the Google Glass would be ideal (a big one that I keep reading about is aircraft maintenance, have drawings and manuals available on command in front of the technician's eyes).

    Rather than trying to come up with something that is designed for everybody on the planet, figure out who could get the most advantage out of it in the short term and, working with that demographic, develop the hardware, the UI and database operation and work with the users to understand exactly the human factors issues. A number of people indicated that the camera was the problem, but I suspect that there are much deeper issues that need to be addressed.

    Once you have become indispensable in one area, others applications will start becoming obvious and the product will seem less "creepy" and intrusive for other areas.

    myke

    • There are a number of markets/professions where the Google Glass would be ideal (a big one that I keep reading about is aircraft maintenance, have drawings and manuals available on command in front of the technician's eyes).

      The manuals thing applies to a lot more than aircraft maintenance. I'd have loved to have had something like that back in the Navy, for instance.

      • The manuals thing applies to a lot more than aircraft maintenance. I'd have loved to have had something like that back in the Navy, for instance.

        I'd love to have something like that for working on cars in theory, but in practice the thing would die the death of a thousand dogs, amen, due to exposure to solvents, oil, and sweat.

    • I'd be willing to vote for this answer.
      The World(tm) is not 'ready' for a generic wearable computer. However, wearable computers are 'ready' to be a thing. Part of your 'start the workday' routine will be to put on your enhanced reality glasses/goggles. These become the telephone headset for the call-center employee, the manual/blueprints for the maintenance or construction worker, the map for the delivery driver, and even the playbook for the football player.

      Design/market Glass as a work tool that

  • a different userbase?
  • by LessThanObvious ( 3671949 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2015 @04:45PM (#48868791)

    Less Google, more cowbell. I consider it a win for society that we are not just running out to buy gadgets to wear on our faces. It was an interesting experiment, but it doesn't belong in daily life. I can't rationally justify why it bothers me, but don't ever expect me to be OK with people walking around with those on their faces. I prefer to live in a camera free zone as much as possible and not be confronted with one strapped the the head of some jackass at Starbuck's.

  • It should show us sentences to say to the girl in front of us and analyzing her response and microfacial expressions and adapt the responses accordingly.

    Otherwise the nerds will never get laid.

    • Actually, such an app would be really useful for those people on the autistic spectrum who have difficult reading facial expressions. It could help them tremendously with socialization.

  • There aren't really many applications for it beyond professional design or perhaps firemen using it for imaging when they can't see beyond smoke, etc... Just niche applications so far. Perhaps a steep price drop could spur adoption and then the applications would emerge.
  • by gestalt_n_pepper ( 991155 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2015 @04:52PM (#48868879)

    Preferably in black, unstylish eyeglass frames.

    I don't want to advertise the fact that I'm wearing this thing. Google geeks may think it's the coolest status symbol ever. I don't. And I don't care. I want to use the map feature, get the weather report.

    Yes, I know it can give me automatic Yelp reports, tell me who and what's around, get me dates, show me movies and deliver specs on my computer by looking.

    I could care less. I'll use the maps. And the weather. Maybe news, if I'm waiting for a bus. If they want me to buy it, it has to be cheap and boring.

    • Agreed, but I'd go even further: it has to be available in so many different styles of frames -- all of which are plausibly "ordinary", and *none* of which are branded as "Google Glass" -- that people simply give up on trying to figure out whether any given eyeglass wearer has Google glass built in.

      Yes, this would open the doors to adoption by a lot of creeps, but it seems pretty inevitable. And the creeps can film you with hidden cameras right now anyway. :-(

    • FBI, CIA and 50 other government agencies need this to spy on the citizens that don't trust them.

    • If Google Glass can get you or other users dates, then I think you have a winner product.
  • by onkelonkel ( 560274 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2015 @04:54PM (#48868897)

    The cognitive dissonance in the posts today is amazing. (A lot of plain old stupid too).
     
    There are cameras in every bar and restaurant filming you all the time. But nobody will acknowledge this fact. If they did, they would have to a) accept that they are ok with being filmed and that they are being total hypocrites about google glass, b) decide that it is not ok and not go to bars and restaurants any more.
     
    The guy with the Google glass may or may not be filmiing you. The restaurant certainly is, and every person in the the place has a smart phone with a camera. If I hold my phone up at face height am I taking a selfie or filming you?
     
    But we all hate to accept uncomfortable truths about ourselves, so we will deflect our mental stress on someone else. Lets de-humanize them first. They are not a person with smart glasses, they are a "Glasshole", and therefore we can punch them. You guys make me sick sometimes.

    • by bws111 ( 1216812 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2015 @05:22PM (#48869277)

      Sorry, but you are the one with the cognitive dissonance. A restaurant filming me does not bother me at all. Why? Because they don't do anything with it other than in the case of a crime. Show me a restaurant or bar that posts images and videos to the internet, and I will show you a business that is not long for this world.

      If you can't tell the difference between someone taking a selfie and someone taking a picture of others that is your problem, don't assume everyone else has the same difficulty.

  • There is a potential userbase for augmented reality devices. But what those potential users expect is an full field of vision display that responds to head & eye movement in real time. A smart phone monocle just isn't going to cut it.
  • Needs to be 100% invisible, the stigma of wearing one of those things was just intense.

  • Stop trying (for now) to make it into a product for the general consumer. Focus on industrial uses to develop the technology. Work instructions, stock picking, etc. Keep working on shrinking the product down further.

    As a consumer item this suffers from several problems.
    1) It's still bulky, conspicuous and not attractive. Fashion matters like it or not.
    2) People don't like talking to their devices out loud unless it is a phone call to another person. Yes some people are ok with it (see Siri) but you rar

  • by gman003 ( 1693318 ) on Wednesday January 21, 2015 @05:06PM (#48869025)

    I've already given more data to Google than I would like. I'm not buying Glass unless I can use it as MY device, not theirs. No uploading shit to the cloud. No monitoring my location or what I look at or what apps I use.

    I'm not worried about people recording me with Glass. I actually think that could do more good than harm (mainly by recording police). So I'd be recording anything I think interesting (fortunately for you all, I find humans incredibly dull). But those recordings would have to remain MINE, under MY control.

  • A few things come to mind.
    The first is the price tag. $1500 is a laughable sum for a consumer electronics toy that doesn't have a clear niche.
    Another is artificially restricting what it can do. One of the killer features for Glass could be facial recognition that floats someone's name over them. No more awkwardly trying to remember someone's name that you met earlier at the party.
    The battery life was also apparently quite bad, as was the performance of the device. Not a surprise given the form fac
  • And then you have questions about obvious face camera guy:
    1) Is he a dork that likes those kind of things?
    2) Is he insurgent disruptive attention whore that likes the problems caused by his presence?
    3) Is he an idiot that "Thinks Differently" in way you do not particularly care for?

    The product is socially flawed to begin with, and ahead of its time like the idea of touchscreens in the 1990s.

    The technology is not here yet to do this conspicuously. Give it 15 years and then it will be done right.
  • I don't get it. What the F... are they doing?

    They release Glass.. at a rediculous price for early developers to check it out.

    They got a bunch of negative attention because people feared the camera. (Lions Tigers, Bears and Cameras, Oh My)

    Everyone talks about it like it was a failure to sell.

    They start looking for how to make version 2 sell like version 1 didn't.

    But... they never even tried to sell it at a normal price? Right? That "explorer" price wasnt supposed to be anywhere near representative of Glass's

    • If they really want version 2 to sell...

      Start mass producing some sort of cheapie glass-like thing under a different name out of China. Make it work but buggy enough to be slightly annoying. Make so many, so cheap that they are all over the place.

      Let the Glass shy AHoles wine, complain and in some cases start bar fights because they get mad every time they see one. Give it a year or two for the AHoles to burn themselves out and go find a different cause to baby on about.

      Then

      • by TheSync ( 5291 )

        Start mass producing some sort of cheapie glass-like thing under a different name out of China.

        I saw one at CES 2015!

  • How about just remove the camera? That's the creepiest part of Google Glass.

    I'm all for exploring the potential of having a display in my line of site for getting information on demand or for AR applications. You don't need a camera for either of those. For AR, the GPS in the phone gives you position, accelerometers in the headset give you orientation, and public database of roads and buildings gives the apps spatial awareness. If you want to be able to highlight people or cars, they could 'opt in' to a loc

  • I think sometimes, when it comes to computing/technology, people forget that there are some common things that make products popular. For example, it's great if it lets me do something that I would like to do, but which I otherwise cannot do (or it would be difficult to do). For example, smartphones are great because they allow me to check my email, look something up on a website, or look up an address and get turn-by-turn directions. When it comes to smart watches, Google Glass, or other "wearables", th

  • It needs B&M store shelf space. Put some marketing force behind it, maybe even TV and YouTube ads.

  • Open APIs, full specs. As long as it reeks of Google surveillance, no geek will touch it with a ten foot pole. And, let's face it, it's a geek toy.

    I want a HMD. I have wanted one for over a decade. I have even invested quite a bit of dough into developing my own, that's how desperately I want one. But I want it to be MINE. To use and connect as I please. With the certainty that it will only produce the data I want and only transmit it where I want it.

  • No, don't discount the importance of lower pricing. Any lower pricing they'd feasibly offer would still be quite expensive.

    I need use cases. I need killer apps. I need the flavor of killer apps that let me build customized functionality without actually having to build apps. Most essentially, I need to know nothing I look at goes to Google.

    People unreasonably worry about glass wearers recording them. I'm far far more concerned about Google recording via glass. I'm worried about data mining, I'm worried abou
  • For Google Glass to succeed it needs to not be Glass, and not be by Google.

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