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Useless, embarrassing, and a waste of money: A Google author’s description of Glass

jeff jarvis dismisses google glass
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Google Glass regularly splits opinion amongst tech geeks on its usefulness, style, intrusiveness, and other factors. However, like many technology firms, Google has diehard fans who sing the praises of all its products, so surely they’re out in force telling the world how awesome Glass is? If Jeff Jarvis is anything to go by, no; they’re not.

Jarvis, in case the name is unfamiliar, penned a book called What Would Google Do?, where he urged people to examine Google’s successful business methods. He is also a journalism professor and co-host on the weekly This Week in Google podcast on He states on his Twitter account he uses a Nexus 5, Nexus 7, and a Chromebook Pixel. The latter, if nothing else, shows he is prepared to cut Google a fair amount of slack.

So what does Jarvis – a clear Google fan – think of Glass? Not much, according to a series of recent tweets. It all starts after he swapped the old model for the newly revised set. “I wish I could just return them,” he said, before adding he’d called Google “Begging them to get me the hell out of Glass, a horrid waste of money.” Ouch.

Jeff Jarvis Google GlassIt gets worse. For Glass, at least. Jarvis told one follower he’s “Embarrassed I ever ordered Glass” and that it’s an “expensive nightmare.”

“I feel like a damned fool for ever having ordered them,” he told another follower. He also describes the high-tech specs as “useless,” “inconvenient,” and “impractical.” Hardly a ringing endorsement from a man who is predisposed to liking them.

Jarvis didn’t have anything good to say about Google’s new frames either. Released last week, they add Glass to a pair of real spectacles, making them more convenient for those of us who already wear glasses. As expected, the Glass-es can’t be folded down, and must be kept in a cumbersome case of their own. “This is the case for the unbendable and otherwise unwearable, overpriced Glass frames,” he tweets alongside a picture of the offending gadget.

It’s not the first time Jarvis has come out against Glass. In August last year, he wrote a post on his Google+ page saying he was dissatisfied with the product, called them awkward to use, and said Google would need to fundamentally rethink Glass before things changed.

So, why is such a vocal and public tirade against Glass a concern? Well, when geeky Google fans can’t even get onboard with Glass, how much hope does Google really have of persuading regular people to try them? If Google is still on target, we should find out before the end of the year.

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Andy Boxall
Andy is a Senior Writer at Digital Trends, where he concentrates on mobile technology, a subject he has written about for…
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