Google’s executive chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt wants everyone to stop saying that Google Glass is dead.
In January, the company halted sales of the device and moved Glass out of its research lab, Google X, and into a standalone unit. The company put Nest CEO Tony Fadell in charge and said it plans to release a new, improved version of Glass before the end of the year.
Schmidt believes that people are blowing those changes out of proportion, though.
“We ended the Explorer program and the press conflated this into us cancelling the whole project, which isn’t true,” he told The Wall Street Journal’s Alistair Barr. “Google is about taking risks and there’s nothing about adjusting Glass that suggests we’re ending it.”
When Google released the first version of Glass, it sold a limited number to a group of early-adopters, called “Explorers,” for $US1,500. Users slammed the device for its poor battery life, bugs, privacy issues and lack of practical uses — “Glassholes” became the nomenclature to describe anyone wearing the device.
Google X head Astro Teller recently admitted that Google didn’t make it clear enough that Glass was a prototype and not a finished product. Schmidt tells Barr that Google still sees the technology as a “big and very fundamental” platform for its future. It’s just a long-term project.
“[It’s] like saying the self-driving car is a disappointment because it’s not driving me around now,” he said of people who call Glass a failure. “These things take time.”