Why Google Glass Broke (Spoiler: It Was Sergey Brin’s Fault)

Well-reported Nick Bilton piece going behind the scenes on the disaster that was Google Glass:

From its unveiling in 2012, it was considered the Gadget, yearned after by everyone from nerds and chief executives, to chefs and fashionistas. It was the must-have toy that was going to set the gold standard for a new class of wearable computers.

It certainly captivated a lot of attention, but many people who follow technology saw it for what it was all along: early prototype hardware and software touted by socially inept nerds.

Bilton’s sources place the blame for both problems — that it was revealed far, far too early, and that it was a privacy and fashion disaster — on Sergey Brin:

At the time, unknown to anyone outside X, an impassioned split was forming between X engineers about the most basic functions of Google Glass. One faction argued that it should be worn all day, like a “fashionable device,” while others thought it should be worn only for specific utilitarian functions. Still, nearly everyone at X was in agreement that the current prototype was just that: a prototype, with major kinks to be worked out.

There was one notable dissenter. Mr. Brin knew Google Glass wasn’t a finished product and that it needed work, but he wanted that to take place in public, not in a top-secret lab. Mr. Brin argued that X should release Glass to consumers and use their feedback to iterate and improve the design.

Thursday, 5 February 2015