Community, Technology

Why I Returned My Google Glass

Ajay GlassFirst of all, yes, you can return Google Glass. Why did I? Well, rather than start from the beginning, I think I will start from the end. I had coffee with my CEO, Ajay Banga, a couple of weeks ago. Fortunately, Ajay is the kind of down-to-earth person you don’t think CEOs of major corporations to be. Some of our discussion revolved around potential markets for this type of wearable technology, and the requirements for significant adoption. We had some fun with my Glass (as you can see to the right and here) and talked about the landscape of wearables in general. Where we immediately agreed was that the consumer proposition wasn’t quite there yet for something mainstream, even with products like Pebble and Gear in the market. We’ll get there, eventually, but we aren’t there today.

944835_10152144915052008_1408164435_nI’ve been a Glass Explorer for about a month now, and overall, it has been a great experience. Essentially acting as a volunteer beta tester, I’ve been able to interact with other Explorers in a closed discussion environment and provide product feedback to the Google Glass team. It has been a good experience overall, as I discussed in my initial review. My main concern with the Explorer edition has been the hardware, which should improve with future iterations. What has been most interesting in my testing has been the social implications of wearing the device. Some folks have come up to me asking about it, wanting to learn more. Others keep away and almost ostracize me, seemingly unsure of who (or what) I am. I know the Google Glass team is well aware of these issues from both testers and the media, and I am sure that will be reflected in future hardware changes.

Even with the recent announcement of Glass frames, it is tough for me to justify the price to myself. I am still very excited about the potential of this technology, and I hope to rejoin the program or purchase a future version of the device. This is one Glass Explorer signing off, for now…

What are your thoughts on wearable technology? Tweet at me with #wearables, and let me know!