AH Google Glass

Google X Exec Thinks Wearable Technology Faces Uphill Battle

October 10, 2014 - Written By Ian Jardine

It’s no secret that Google has been responsible for a great deal of advancement in terms of the technology we use and enjoy every single day. The Google search alone has become such an entrenched part of our everyday parlance that it’s hard to believe that we ever lived in a world without it. Well, Google is certainly not one to rest on its laurels as it continues to develop projects that they hope will help take us into the future. This is where Google X comes in. Google X is a division of the company that is responsible for developing its most ambitious projects, ones they call “moon shots”. In fact, Google X is so ambitious that they are reportedly working on projects like self-driving cars and contact lenses that would detect a person’s glucose levels. Google X is also responsible for creating Glass, Google’s web-connected headset. Glass is still in its prototype phase but has received a lot of criticism and in a recent interview the head of Google X  has admitted that wearable technology has a long way to go before the public is convinced of its value.

When speaking this week at a conference hosted by Vanity Fair, Astro Teller who is the current head of the Google X program, said that “I have learned, at a certain next level, that wearables are tough.” One can’t help but think that Teller was referring to the legal controversies Glass has faced all over the world as it has been banned from bars in some parts of the U.S. because of privacy issues and in the U.K. is prohibited in movie theaters due to piracy concerns. Teller went on to say that in order for wearable technology to truly catch on with consumers they must be convinced that it benefits them more than anything else that is available today, like a smartphone. “It has to be qualitatively better”, he stated.

As previously mentioned, Glass has faced an uphill battle since Google revealed it to the public in early 2013. Aside from the legal problems, Google had to deal with staffing issues when the man who was instrumental in the development of Glass, Babak Parvis, left the company for a position with Amazon. They also had to deal with criticisms that Glass simply didn’t look good and thus people wouldn’t want to wear it. To address these criticisms they recently hired Ivy Ross to head the Glass project. Ross’s previous work experience was mostly in the fashion world and lists Calvin Klein and GAP as former employers.