Google isn’t giving up the fight in trying to make its futuristic Glass headset more palatable to the average consumer, but based on a report from Reuters it looks like developers don’t have quite the same faith in the wearable’s long-term viability. 9 of the 16 developers that Reuters spoke to said they had stopped work on their Glass apps for the time being.
Low user numbers and the limitations of the device — a full battery charge lasts for about 40 minutes when shooting video, for example — were the reasons cited by the coders for abandoning their Glass apps. 3 of the 16 developers said they had switched to developing software for business users, which is where the headset may start to shift in serious numbers.
While Google Glass can now be picked up by anyone with $1,500 to spend, the device is still very much a beta product — Google has pushed back a full consumer launch to an unspecified date in the future. Headsets are selling for substantially less on eBay, which suggests there isn’t much enthusiasm for Google’s vision of the future of computing.
Nevertheless, Glass has found a home in a variety of industrial and medical projects. General Motors workers are testing the device on production lines while med students at UC Irvine have used the gadgets to watch surgical procedures from the view of the surgeon in charge.
“If there were 200 million Google Glasses sold, it would be a different perspective. There’s no market at this point,” Tom Frencel, Chief Executive of Little Guy Games, told Reuters. Frencel said his company has put development of a Glass game on hold this year and is busy looking at the potential of alternative platforms like Oculus Rift.
Google, though, remains undeterred, with Glass Head of Business Operations Chris O’Neill telling Reuters: “We are completely energized and as energized as ever about the opportunity that wearables and Glass in particular represent.”