Teller talks at SXSW about the demise of Glass, and the value of failure:
[Glass] was one of those things that we had to get out into the world as soon as possible. We learned a lot of things about the tech, like the battery. It was also valuable for social testing, and I’m really grateful for all of the fearless pioneers who went on that adventure with us…The great decision was to do the Explorer program. The thing that we did not do well is that we allowed, and sometimes even encouraged, too much attention to the program.
If you’re not failing at least some of the time, you could be learning faster. It’s not about going out and not having these bumps and scrapes, it’s about getting full value from them.
The company says the Explorer program will close and it will stop taking orders for the product but it says it will continue to support companies that are using Glass. Google insists it is still committed to launching the smart glasses as a consumer product, saying it will focus on “future versions of Glass” with work carried out by a different division to before.
The Glass team will also move out of the Google X division and become a separate undertaking, under Ivy Ross.
A Glass Explorer, Spencer Kleyweg, reports that the Google Glass Basecamps in Los Angeles, San Francisco, London and New York are closing. The Basecamps served as a place for Glass users to get support for their devices, as well as for potential customers to see the device demonstrated in person. Google does not release a statement regarding the closing.
Reuters reports that nine of the 16 app Glass app makers contacted said they’d abandoned their projects, mostly because of the lack of customers or limitations of the device. Three more have switched to developing for business, leaving behind consumer projects. —including a guy who won $10,000 for his efforts. Tom Frencel, the Chief Executive of Little Guy Games:
If there was 200 million Google Glasses sold, it would be a different perspective. There’s no market at this point.
The Glass Collective, a venture effort to fund apps for Glass, invested in only three or four small start-ups by the beginning of this year. Three of Google’s key employees on the Glass team have left. One source tells the publication that a consumer launch has been delayed, possibly till 2015. Glass Head of Business Operations Chris O’Neill:
We are completely energized and as energized as ever about the opportunity that wearables and Glass in particular represent. We are as committed as ever to a consumer launch. That is going to take time and we are not going to launch this product until it’s absolutely ready.
The Motion Picture Association of America and the National Association of Theater Owner announce that Glass cannot be used in theaters as part of an updated “anti-theft policy.
As part of our continued efforts to ensure movies are not recorded in theaters … we maintain a zero-tolerance policy toward using any recording device while movies are being shown. As has been our long-standing policy, all phones must be silenced and other recording devices, including wearable devices, must be turned off and put away at show time. Individuals who fail or refuse to put the recording devices away may be asked to leave.
The South African online store Takealot becomes the first retailer in Africa to sell Google Glass. The price is R26,999 ($2,560), about $1,000 more expensive than it is in the United States.
After conducting a series of underwater tests, NASA concludes that Glass is not a useful tool for astronauts in its current state due to its limited battery and difficulty of use:
Google Glass is a promising technology but needs to overcome battery life, display viewing and scrolling issues in order to be an operational useful tool.
Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) uses Glass’s Step by Step feature to allow people to navigate the public transport system easily. Glass users can also access route maps and departure times. A spokesperson for the RTA says that this feature is aimed mainly at tourists:
Google Glass is not officially launched in UAE but there are people who are using it and there a lot of tourists who bringit from their countries where it is available. Our idea is to stay ahead in terms of technology and provide the services required through all the tech channels available. We are the first city in the region to provide transport-related information through Google Glass.
Babak Parviz, Google X director and one of the creators of Google Glass, leaves to join Amazon. Amazon and Parviz both decline to comment about his role in the company.
A studio called This Place releases MindRDR, a free application for Glass that uses the head-mounted Neurosky EEG biosensor to control Glass with the user’s thoughts. The sensor uses brainwaves to determine what part of the display the user is focusing on. The hardware can be purchased for £71 (about $121).
Andrew Paterson, senior technology officer at the Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK, writes in a blog post that businesses using Glass are subject to laws in the country regarding how data is stored and secured:
Organizations must not lose sight of the fact that wearables must still operate in compliance with the law and consumers’ personal information must be looked after.
A Google spokeswoman responds:
The fact that Glass is worn above the eyes and the screen lights up whenever it’s activated clearly signals it’s in use and makes it a fairly lousy surveillance device.
Glass is not mentioned once during Google’s two-and-a-half hour keynote speech at its annual I/O convention. This prompts speculation on social media sites like Twitter that Google wants to phase out Glass. A spokesperson for Google tells TechCrunch:
Glass announced all of our news earlier this week and ahead of I/O so the Chrome and Android announcements could take center stage today and tomorrow.
Google announces that Glass will ship with two gigabytes of RAM instead of one. This causes controversy because Explorers with old devices are not offered an upgrade.
A study conducted at the University of Massachusetts Lowell shows that Google Glass and other wearables can pick up four-digit PINs typed onto an iPad from 10 feet away. A special software designed for the study allows PINs to be stolen even if Glass is not facing the screen of the iPad. Xinwen Fu, a computer science professor at the university, tells Wired:
Any camera works, but you can’t hold your iPhone over someone to do this. Because Glass is on your head, it’s perfect for this kind of sneaky attack.
Glass launches in the United Kingdom at £1,000 per device, which marks the first time Glass is available outside the United States.
A Google Glass app for medical professionals raises more than $7 Million. The creator, a San Francisco start-up named Augmedix, gears the app towards doctors. It allows doctors to cut down on paperwork by recording their patients’ exams. Afterwards, the doctor can use voice commands to pull up information. By cutting down on paperwork, medical professionals can be more efficient. Augmedix is a certified partner of Google’s Glass At Work program
Google announces Glass at Work Certified Partners, a program which encourages companies to develop Glass applications for business and industrial use. One of the first partners is Augmedix, which provides applications to help doctors view patients’ records in the Glass display while attending to them.
Glass is featured on a Daily Show segment called Glass Half Empty. The segment features sarcastic commentary on discrimination faced by Explorers:
Magellan was an explorer, Chuck Yeager was an explorer. You guys have a f-cking camera on your face.
The Alamo Drafthouse, a chain of theaters throughout the United States, bans Google Glass in its theaters. Tim League, the founder and CEO of the chain, takes to Twitter to explain the policy:
However, he says prescription Glass lenses may be allowed:
A Google spokesperson tells Phandroid that Glass is not coming to AT&T stores:
We have no plans to sell Glass in AT&T stores.
The rumor is started by Twitter user @evleaks who has over 175,000 followers:
Google announces eight new traditional frames and five new sunglasses for Glass, designed in collaboration between Google designer Isabelle Olsson and fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg. They will be available on June 23, 2014 and cost $120 more than other models of Glass. Olsson explains the vision behind Made for Glass:
Glass is designed to make your life easier. It offers a new, unique way of interacting with technology without distracting from your life. And it’s about being able to express your personal style at the same time. Diane really understood each of these goals and brought that vision to life. The Titanium Collection, which we released in January, is unisex, so I’m excited that we now have expressive women’s styles.
Berlin artist Julian Oliver creates Glasshole.sh, a program which can detect a character string unique to the MAC addresses of Glass devices and block WiFi access. Oliver came up with the program after hearing that a fellow artist friend was disturbed by guests who showed up to his art exhibit wearing Glass. The device offers no way for artists to know if the Glass-wearing visitors are photographing, recording, or even live-streaming their work.
To say ‘I don’t want to be filmed’ at a restaurant, at a party, or playing with your kids is perfectly OK. But how do you do that when you don’t even know if a device is recording? This steps up the game. It’s taking a jammer-like approach.
BetaBeat reports that Dr Peli has clarified his statements regarding Glass:
In an email to BetaBeat Dr Peli adds:
I’ve made it clear when I am asked that Glass may cause initial discomfort when it’s first used, but that I have found no health risks.
Google also commented:
Google communicates regularly with Dr Peli about his research. Once the story was published, Dr Peli reached out to us saying he felt the piece misrepresented what he said. He wanted to set the record straight by posting to his G+ page. His response is consistent with the views he has expressed about Glass over the past year.
Brin says Glass may not be released to the public in 2014:
I’d hope we could by the end of the year, but I’m not sure.
This contradicts the information on the Glass FAQ:
This marks the next phase in the evolution of Glass as we move towards a wider consumer launch later in 2014.
Students at Brigham Young University invent Signglasses, a type of software for Google Glass that allows deaf people to see a small American Sign Language (ASL) interpretor in the top right corner of their Glass display. This enables them to see the interpretors even in the dark. Currently it is used in planetariums so that deaf people are able to understand the narrator in virtual tours of the universe.
Dr. Shafi Ahmed, a surgeon at the Royal London Hospital, is the first to livestream a surgery he performs on a patient with liver and bowel cancer while wearing Glass. Medical students around the world are able to get a first-person view of what he sees as he performs the surgery. Roy Pulfer, the patient, says he is glad to participate in the event:
I’m happy that it will help educate young people. They like using technology so it’s great for them. The staff have been great to me all the way and explained every step of the operation so clearly.
Dubai police officers are experimenting with using Google Glass to help them catch traffic violators. Colonel Khalid Nasser Al Razooqi, the General Director of Smart Services at Dubai Police, says two applications have been created for Glass to aid officers in their job:
One will allow them to take photos of traffic violations from the Glass, which will go instantly into our system, and the other application helps identify wanted cars.
Venturebeat reports that in order to keep users’ head up, Google placed the Glass display to the upper-right. While this positioning can keep the user from crashing into things, it can also cause sharp eye pain as documented by several users:
According to Dr. Eli Peli, the Harvard optometrist who consults on ocular discomfort for Google, people almost never actually look to the side with just their eyes for long periods of time. During the setup process and in the first weeks of uses, he says users can look to the side for up to to a minute, sixty times longer than normal, causing eye muscle strain:
It’s not a headache, it’s sort of a discomfort in the eye muscles. To describe it as a headache is inconsistent with how people experience headaches.
Dr Peli says that as the user gets used to the device, the pain goes away for most users after a few days to a week,
Startup developer Eaze introduces Nod to Pay, an application that allows consumers to pay for goods in Bitcoins with Google Glass. Users add their Bitcoin wallet information to the application and scan a QR code from the merchant which displays the cost on their display. Then two nods of the head send the payment to the seller’s Bitcoin wallet.
Ross is hired as the new project leader of Google Glass. Though she comes from a marketing background and not a technology background, she has experience working with other large companies like Calvin Klein, Mattel, and Bausch & Lomb, the largest supplier of eye health products in the world:
With your help, I look forward to answering the seemingly simple, but truly audacious questions Glass poses: Can technology be something that frees us up and keeps us in the moment, rather than taking us out of it? Can it help us look up and out at the world around us, and the people who share it with us?
Google Glass is introduced into the curriculum at UC Irvine School of Medicine. It allows students to get a first-person view of what instructors are seeing when they work with patients. Dr. Warren Wiechmann, associate dean of instructional technologies, believes it will prepare the students for their real duties as physicians:
All of medicine is based on ‘seeing,’ not ‘reading,’ the patient.
Three popular travel applications are released for Glass. Foursquare allows users to see businesses nearby and “check in” to them, broadcasting their location to their friends. TripIt updates users on the status of their flights and travel itineraries. Open Table allows users to see nearby restaurants and make a reservation.
IHS Inc., an information company, takes apart Glass and estimates that the parts are worth $152, about 10% of its $1,500 price tag. It adds, however, that engineering costs, software updates, and tooling costs make up for much of the rest of the $1,500 price. Google disagrees with their assessment:
While we appreciate another attempt to estimate the cost of Glass, this latest one from IHS, like Teardown.com’s, is wildly off. Glass costs significantly more to produce.
Minuum creates the first keyboard application for Glass. It allows users to input text into Glass without having to verbally state their message. A virtual keyboard is displayed on the Glass screen. To type, users must turn their head in the direction of the key they want to press and tap Glass in order to confirm their choice. The application uses predictive technology to decide which key they are trying to use and speed up typing.
For the first time, Google announces that the Glass Explorer program is open to anyone in the United States who wants to get the device, as long as it is in stock. Before this point, Explorers are chosen by Google or invited by other Explorers. The price is the same as it is for all previous explorers at $1,500 plus a free frame.
Samsung announces that it will reveal a competitor to Google Glass at a trade show in September. A Samsung associate says:
We rolled out the smartwatch first, and have secured a considerable amount of smart glass-related technology and patents. Following the roll out of our smart watch Galaxy Gear in September last year, we are slated to introduce our smart glass Gear Glass this September.
Active Ants, an e-fulfillment company from the Netherlands, gives Google Glass to its stock pickers with custom applications to aid them in their jobs. This reduces their error rate by 12% and increases their stocking speed by 15%. Jereon Dekker, a managing partner for the company, explains how using Glass is preferable to using paper to document inventory:
The first benefit here is that the picker’s both hands are now free to access products in the shelves. The second benefit is the step towards a paperless world: lists no longer need to be printed, signed and bound. The third and probably the biggest advantage is the time saved by sending orders directly to the Google Glass, without first printing, signing and binding them. The fourth benefit is error reduction.
A source close to Google tells TechCrunch that Google Wallet is coming to Glass soon. Users will have to install the Wallet glassware application and then say they will be able to use the “send money” voice command to transfer money. Google takes a 2.9% fee or 30 cents from Wallet transactions, whichever is higher.
Adrian Wong, the lead electrical engineer for Glass, leaves to join Oculus VR, a company working on a head-mounted virtual reality display called Oculus Rift. He has been working at Google since 2010 and has invented many of the patents related to Google Glass. He writes a farewell on his Facebook page:
Surprise! Today is my last day at Google. Three rollercoaster years with Google[x] and Glass. What amazing memories. Now, time for the next great adventure!
According to EV Grieve a New York neighborhood restaurant called Feast receives 13 one-star reviews on Google after Katy Kasmai, the founder of Glass NYC (a community of Glass Explorers), is refused service for wearing Glass. According to the restaurant:
A few months previously, [Feast] had another diner wearing a pair and the restaurant received several comments about privacy from other guests. Restaurant staff asked the person to remove them, and he quickly consented. So when the other diner came in wearing Google Glass, management asked her to take them off before dining. She refused, and left the restaurant.
Kasmai wrote on Google:
Anti-Glass supporters have since left hundreds of positive reviews to counter those left by Ms Kasmai’s group.
CNN iReporter Kenny Zhu becomes the first person to use Google Glass to take pictures and video of North Korea.
They were suspicious of the Google Glass at first though, asking me some questions about it — how it work, what does it do, etc.. I let them played around with it and they seemed flattered and inquired no more.
Google starts a program where potential explorers have 10 days to try Glass frames and see which frame they prefer. The frames are on real Glass devices, but the USB ports are destroyed so they cannot be charged, thus making it impossible to steal the devices and sell them for profit:
You told us you’re interested in purchasing Glass, but wanted to wait until we had frames for Glass. We have some good news for you. We recently introduced the Titanium Collection — four feather-light titanium frames that are designed to fit with your prescription and personal style. And even more good news — you’ve been selected to participate in a free home try-on pilot, to help you find the frame style and Glass color that fits you best before you purchase.
For one day only, Google allows anyone in the United States to buy a Glass device. This is the first time Glass is open to the public. Before this point, everyone who gets Glass is chosen by Google or invited by a Glass Explorer. The price is $1,500 plus tax, but includes free frames (a $225 value).
Google announces a partnership with the Luxottica Group, which is the largest producer of sunglasses in the world and includes the brands Ray-Ban, Oakley, Vogue-Eyewear, Persol, Oliver Peoples, Alain Mikli and Arnette. The eyewear company’s shares rise more than 4% due to this news. Google hopes the partnership will lead to new, stylish frame designs for Glass.
Google makes a Google+ post responding to the top 10 myths consumers have about Google Glass. It mainly centers around privacy concerns people have about the device, for instance, the fact that people believe it can constantly record its surroundings when in fact its battery life only allows recording for up to 45 minutes.
Sarah Slocum, a San Francisco social media and business consultant, claims she had her Google Glass ripped off her face at a bar called Molotov’s, and then had her purse stolen as she gave chase. She tells the San Francisco Chronicle that her attackers accused her of “destroying the city.” On Facebook she says:
OMG so you’ll never believe this but… I got verbally and physically assaulted and robbed last night in the city, had things thrown at me because of some wanker Google Glass haters, then some *bleeeeeeeeeep* tore them off my face and ran out with them then and when I ran out after him his *bleeeeeeep* friends stole my purse, cellphone wallet and everything.
And describes the attack as a “hate crime”:
And what makes this story special is that no one has experienced a hate crime or been targeted for a hate crime, which is what it was, for wearing Google Glass.
Slocum claims that she did not record in the bar, however, the video she posts shows that she was recording using Glass.
Google releases a list of do’s and don’ts for using Glass politely. Google suggests using Glass to explore the world and interact with others, using screen locks, using the voice commands, and contributing to the Glass Explorer community. However, they advise against zoning out for long periods of time while staring at the screen, engaging in high-impact sports, being rude about attention the device garners, and being a Glasshole:
Don’t be creepy or rude (aka, a “Glasshole”). Respect others and if they have questions about Glass don’t get snappy. Be polite and explain what Glass does and remember, a quick demo can go a long way. In places where cell phone cameras aren’t allowed, the same rules will apply to Glass. If you’re asked to turn your phone off, turn Glass off as well. Breaking the rules or being rude will not get businesses excited about Glass and will ruin it for other Explorers.
Google creates the Titanium Collection, which are new frames for Glass that can accommodate prescriptions as well as allow users to customize Glass to fit their own personal style. The frames cost $225 at launch but may be covered partially by insurance if a prescription is needed.
An anonymous Glass Explorer is detained for wearing Glass in an AMC movie theater. The employees believe he is recording the movie with Glass, but he says he wears the device all the time because they have prescription lenses. He also claims the device is shut off.
Because I don’t want Glass to distract me during the movie, I turn them off (but since my prescription lenses are on the frame, I still wear them). About an hour into the movie (Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit), a guy comes near my seat, shoves a badge that had some sort of a shield on it, yanks the Google Glass off my face and says “follow me outside immediately”.
AMC confirms what happened:
At AMC Easton 30 last weekend, a guest was questioned for possible movie theft after he was identified wearing a recording device during a film. The presence of this recording device prompted an investigation by the MPAA, which was on site. The MPAA then contacted Homeland Security, which oversees movie theft. The investigation determined the guest was not recording content.
Cecilia Abadie, the first person to be ticketed for wearing Glass while driving, is cleared of her citations. Commissioner John Blair rules that the officer could not know whether or not Glass was in use when Abadie was driving. However, he stresses that using Glass’s display while driving could fall under distracted driving laws. Google does not make a statement about the case but its website advises that Glass users not use the device while driving:
Read up and follow the law! Above all, even when you’re following the law, don’t hurt yourself or others by failing to pay attention to the road. The same goes for bicycling: whether or not any laws limit your use of Glass, always be careful.