Here's What Happens To You When You criticise Google Glass

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Google has managed to do something truly brilliant with Google Glass.

It’s created a kludgy product that’s immune from criticism.

It positioned Glass in such a way that it gets to deflect all critiques, keeping the door open for the possibility that it’s created a world-changing product despite ample evidence to the contrary.

Last week, I wrote a post that pointed out how reviews of Google Glass were actually quite negative, despite the overwhelmingly positive buzz about Glass.

My theory is that people are desperate for a new gadget, since we’ve gone three years since the launch of the iPad, thus they’re latching on to Glass, hoping it’s a world changer.

Also, I believe people are afraid to say Glass isn’t going to be the next iPhone. They’re scared they’re going to be ridiculed in 20 years when everyone is wearing Glass.

If you’re critical of Glass, as I was, you get attacked for being small minded.

Glass has some hardcore fanboys. Their simple defence of Glass can be summed up in two types of tweets.

The first type compares Glass to the original personal computers:


The second type gives Google an escape hatch by saying it’s not a consumer device.

The first one is hard to attack because it’s going to take 20-30 years to play out. All I can say is that sometimes things don’t work out. Just because the personal computer became huge doesn’t mean Glass will become huge. (Causation, correlation, etc…)

The second of these tweets is the most interesting to me because it’s so slippery.

Essentially, Google gets to have it both ways.

One the one hand, Sergey Brin tells the world that Glass has all features of a smartphone, suggesting that it’s a decent substitute for a phone.

Then people use Glass and realise that it’s not even moderately close to being a substitute for a smartphone. They also note that it’s very buggy, and has some serious flaws.

The response to those people: What did you expect, this isn’t for consumers. This is for developers.

Which is it? Is Glass a for-real world changing technology, or is it just a test project that may or may not amount to much?

Since writing up those reviews, I’ve had a chance to wear Glass. I can tell you it’s closer to the latter than the former. It’s a real let down. It’s worse than I expected.

You just see a screen in the distance that offers very little information. If you look at sunlight, you can’t even see the display anymore. It looks ridiculous. Talking to it is ridiculous.

There’s certainly a chance wearable computing is the next big thing, but Glass, as presently construed is not it, no matter how badly its fan boys want you to believe otherwise.

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