Google Glass was as controversial with ordinary folks as it was popular with the high-tech crowd. While Explorers mourned the termination of the beta-testing phase for Glass when Google unceremoniously axed the Explorer program in January, others celebrated the fall of so-called “Glassholes.” Now it seems the public gloated too soon.
Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt told the Wall Street Journal that Google Glass is far from dead — In fact, it’s just getting started. The smartglasses were simply placed in the capable hands of Tony Fadell, head of Google Nest and the connected home, “to make it ready for users.”
Schmidt dismissed claims that Glass will never see the light of day again, and criticized those who were so quick to crow over the death of the project.
“It is a big and very fundamental platform for Google,” Schmidt said. “We ended the Explorer program and the press conflated this into us canceling the whole project, which isn’t true. Google is about taking risks and there’s nothing about adjusting Glass that suggests we’re ending it.”
Schmidt added that like all long-term projects that are too futuristic for the present day, Glass will take some time to perfect. He argued that the tech community shouldn’t call Glass a failure just because the beta testing ended, but rather accept that more work is needed to complete the product.
“That’s like saying the self-driving car is a disappointment because it’s not driving me around now,” he said. “These things take time.”
Schmidt didn’t give any indication of when Glass will be ready for prime time, and Fadell didn’t comment on his boss’ statements. However, earlier reports jibe with Schmidt’s reassurances that Glass is here to stay. The next-generation Google Glass may have improved battery, sound, and display tech.