It’s 2015, the year “Back to the Future” predicted that the world will be filled with self-tying shoes, hoverboards, and … Google Glass?
Okay, so I’ve never watched “Back to the Future,” but we can be thankful that Google announced that it would end the Explorers program and take Google Glass back to the lab.
Google Glass was intended to be wearable hardware that would give us the hands-free ability to search the web, video chat on the go, and take photos. Unfortunately (or perhaps for the good of society), these reality-augmenting glasses never left the Silicon Valley.
But before we start bemoaning the loss of this innovative and revolutionary technology, here are four reasons that you would never have bought Google Glass.
1. It’s expensive.
Retailing at $1500, I doubt the average Joe would run to the Google store and pick one up. TechInsight dismantled Glass and found that its components cost $79.78, including assembly costs.
And if you’re expecting the glasses to be worth the price, you have another thing coming.
With Google Glass, you can take 5 megapixel photos and videos, check the weather, get directions, and get notifications and emails (if you can maintain the dodgy connection).
All of these functions last for only 3.5 hours. In other words: not worth it.
2. Everyone’s privacy feels invaded.
Privacy concerns probably make up the biggest issues with Google Glass. During the hype, Google Glass already encountered several cases of discomfort with the public (I’ll let you Google those cases on your own).
Taking hands-free photos and video may be cool to the wearer but to everybody else, it’s invasive.
If anybody disagrees, imagine having a conversation with a Glass wearer for ten minutes. In that time, the wearer possibly took hundreds of photos of you. Now imagine a gallery of those photos – food in your mouth, yawning, sneezing, and other unattractive pictures – floating around on the internet for all to see. And you were none the wiser.
Not so cool anymore.
3. Google Glass simply lacks style.
Google Glass looks good if you’re a glasses model, otherwise its an awkward half-computer on the side of your face.
These glasses are like your great, great grandpa’s glasses but subtract the glass and add a dull, gray bar running across the forehead with a tiny glass prism dangling over the right eye.
Need I say more?
4. What’s the point?
Glass allows the wearer to check the weather, receive notifications, and other “googly” stuff. But here’s the thing: its nothing new.
In our pockets, we have smartphones that accomplish ten times more and cost ten times less without the awkwardness of Google Glass.
Don’t get me wrong, reality-augmentation devices look amazing, but not through the lens of Google Glass.
Google pulled their glasses off the shelf, but Microsoft released their own pair, HoloLens.
While HoloLens remains a prototype, with more research, testing, and luck, maybe we’ll be able to experience an augmented reality.
But until that day comes, we’ll continue to use our phones.