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