A lot of people made fun of Google Glass when it first came out, back in 2013.
On Friday, Google showed that it’s not too proud to laugh at its past missteps too.
In an April Fools’ day video posted by Google X — the in-house lab tasked with developing “moonshots” such as self-driving cars and drones — Google showcased absurd, futuristic projects such as shrinking cows and speeding up the speed at which people talk. None of these are real projects, of course.
But one of the jokes in the video was not completely fabricated from whole cloth. In the video, Astro Teller, the head of Google X (whose real title actually is “Captain of Moonshots”) appeared sporting a bizarre pair of glasses.
The glasses don’t have any lenses. They’re basically just two separate frames on each side of Teller’s head, and a floating pince-nez in the center that’s attached to nothing.
If you remember what the first version of Google Glass looked like, you’ll get the joke. The stamp-sized computer screen attached to a pair of standard eyeglass frames which didn’t actually have lenses, giving the wearer a decidedly strange look.
Google eventually made versions of Glass which came with lenses and stylish frames, to make Glass seem a little less Cyborg-like. But by that point, it was too late. Glass had already been widely mocked as a dorky-looking get-up, one that lacked any sense of fashion and which threatened to invade people’s privacy. Today Glass is back on the drawing board, as Google tries to figure out the best way to bring the wearable gadget back to market.
Here’s what the original Google Glass looked like:
And here’s Google X’s April Fools’ day video: