TORONTO – Google Glass just wasn’t ready for the limelight.
Astro Teller, the Google executive who led the Internet-connected glasses project, believes this was one of the reasons Google Glass didn’t turn out to be the success story many had hoped for.
“We encouraged too much attention for the program,” Teller said during a speech at the South by South West Interactive festival Tuesday.
“We wanted to say to the world this is an early prototype that we think is really exciting. But we also did things that encouraged people to think of this as a finished product.”
Teller was referring to the decision to partner with fashion brands and eyeglass designers, such as Diane von Furstenberg and Ray-Ban, in order to help the gadget appeal to the masses – a move that was celebrated at the time.
Interest in the Internet-connected glasses was high in 2013 when the tech giant launched the Glass Explorers program, designed for developers to test applications and use cases for the gadget. Glass made headlines for making strides in health care and raising questions about distracted driving.
By January, Google announced it would stop selling Glass in its current form due to lack of consumer interest.
Teller noted that he thought the public nature of the Explorers program was valuable to Glass’ development because the team was able to see what aspects of the technology they needed to improve.
“Glass was one of those things that we had to get out into the world as soon as possible.” said Teller. “I’m really grateful for all of the fearless pioneers who went on that adventure with us.”
According to reports, Google will reportedly scrap the original design of Glass and start from scratch for the next version.