Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Google Glass Is Literally on Life Support

That is, it’s being used a lot in the medical industry. Stephanie Lee, Buzzfeed:

Glass was one of the most talked about trends in wearable computing in 2014, and Google pushed it hard in the hopes of gaining mainstream traction. It instead became a symbol of tech elitism and conspicuous consumption, its users derided and even attacked. Earlier this year, Google stopped selling the first version of Glass and moved the project out of its Google(x) lab into a stand-alone unit.

But while Glass failed to set the consumer space on fire, some clinicians and other medical professionals have embraced it as a hands-free means of sharing and accessing information quickly. As cases like Phelan’s demonstrate, Glass still has promise in enterprise markets like health care. That lends credence to the company’s claims that Glass remains viable, despite its unpropitious beginnings.

Glass was pitched as a product to make everyone’s daily lives easier. In Google’s utopia, you’d wear it just after waking up to see what the weather forecast was like, or to catch up on the news while making breakfast. You’d use it to chat with your friends and be alerted with relevant, location-based notifications. None of that really happened because walking everywhere with a screen and a camera strapped to your face is socially unacceptable, at least so far.

Perhaps Glass’ near-future destiny is in specialized industries: medical, factory workers, pharmacy technicians, and the like. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. But it demonstrates the extent to which we’ve rejected Google’s plans for putting a computer on our faces, because every other major player is gambling that putting it on the wrist is less obtrusive.