Google Glass Is Going Bye-Bye For a While

Google is reeling the Glass in to reassess behind closed doors.

After months with (a couple of) highs and (many) lows, Google has announced that it will stop selling Glass, the digital eyewear, through its Explorer program on Monday. There were some who were excited about the technology, who couldn’t wait to be an early adopter and wander around the city with hi-tech vision. Others were quick to call those folks “Glassholes.”

With every technology there’s a learning curve, but the way The Wall Street Journal covers the story, perhaps Glass wasn’t quite ready for primetime.

“The changes usher in a new strategy for Glass in which it will shun large, public tests of prototypes in favor of the same approach used by Apple and Nest, which develop consumer gadgets in secret and release them as fully finished products,” the paper says.

Questions about privacy and utility are things that Google should’ve worked out before pushing Glass, a high-priced item costing north of $1,000, out to the public.

Glass 2.0 is in the works with word from execs that things will be kept hush hush until the technology is fully sorted and ready to go.

Gathering feedback from customers is a positive thing. Taking those comments and using them to tweak a product or change course on a PR campaign is a smart way to go. But the foundation needs to be solid. And the pitch to consumers needs to be fully formed. Part of the issue with Glass was that it didn’t come with a clear message about its purpose and how it enhances and simplifies life for the user. The Atlantic goes a step further and says the camera device on Glass actually made it “disturbing,” which turned off users and developers while giving the media something to latch on to.

“Mass adoption of new tech inevitably means figuring out new social norms,” says the magazine. “Without a camera attached to their heads, Google Glass users may have had time to measure out these boundaries… Google Glass’s camera created an untenable situation on both sides of the device.”

Glass was the victim of oversharing on many levels. Given a little time to regroup and with the rise of wearables, we will see another iteration of it that’s sure to come with brand new marketing as well.