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Scoble says Google Glass is doomed

First, I love headlines that stretch the truth a bit. No one outside of Google got their Glass before March of last year. I got mine on the second day they were available, which was April 15th. So +Mathew Honan we really have had Glass, for, what, eight months now? Not quite a year, but that's just me being picky.

But Google Glass is doomed. Why do I say that? Because the tech press tells me so. 

Now that we got that out of the way, what have I learned in my eight months of wearing Glass?

1. Nearly everyone wants to try it. Google is brilliant. They got us to pay $1,500 (plus tax) to be its PR agent. It's gotten to the point where even I don't want to wear them around. At one conference a few people in a bathroom wanted to try them on. I figure I've shared my Glass with 500-1,000 people.

2. Mat says people called him an asshole for wearing his. I never have had that happen. Instead, what happens is usually closer to this encounter I had in the street with three high school girls:

3. All of our angst is because of a prototype. One that still doesn't have a good API and doesn't really have much utility (I expect that Google will have a LOT to say when it introduces the final product in 2014). Things like battery life, and even design, or lack thereof, are going to change.

4. Price is gonna matter a LOT. But I'm hearing they won't be able to get under $500 in 2014, so that means it's doomed. In 2014. When they get under $300 and have another revision or two? That's when the market really will show up. 2016, I say.

5. The camera isn't that scary. Once you have them. Lots of people are afraid I'm recording them. Then I show them how it works. Then they smile and forget I have them on.

6. The really scary thing? The eye sensor. There's a reason why +Larry Page  didn't answer my question at last year's Google IO: that thing can probably tell whether you are drunk or sober (think about THAT tonight). It also can probably tell you when you are checking out someone you shouldn't be (wait until the wife gets an alert about THAT). Of course Google will use it to tell what brands you are checking out at the grocery store (coupon alert) or when you are shopping in a shopping mall.

7. Do I still love mine? Yeah, I do, but I am frustrated with the speed at which Google has iterated on these. I am hopeful that Google is just holding back a ton of goodness for launch but it should have had an app store, a real API that allows full sensor and phone integration, and a plan for helping developers build real businesses on these by now. 

I'm also worried at a new trend: I rarely see Google employees wearing theirs anymore. Most say "I just don't like advertising that I work for Google." I understand that. Quite a few people assume I work for Google when they see me with mine. I just hope it doesn't mean that Google's average employee won't support it. That is really what killed the tablet PC efforts inside Microsoft until Apple forced them to react due to popularity of iPad.

But, really, let's get back to the headline. I think Google Glass is doomed. In 2014. Why? 

1. Expectations are too high. These are on our faces and are the most controversial product of my lifetime (and that's saying something). Everyone will compare sales of Google Glass to Apple's iWatch. That is going to bring a raft of "Google Glass isn't popular" kinds of articles. Translation: Glass is doomed.

2. These are too hard to buy and acquire. They need to be custom fitted and, because they have a new user interface, users need a bit of training on how to use them. This is what will keep the price high, not the cost of making the things. If you need to spend an hour or two with a Google employee in a Best Buy just to get them working, that raises the cost and will keep these from being a high-sales item. At least in 2014.

3. Not enough apps. Enough said. That will start getting fixed after a few months of release, but early users are gonna continually ask "where's the Uber app?" Or "where's the Foursquare app?" Or "why does the Facebook app suck?" Truth is, while there are many developers excited by Glass, there are many others who look at this and see no market and a very small one that will show up in 2014. So most "pro" developers are taking a wait-and-see approach. Google hasn't helped that by not showing off a store and by making weird rules against advertising without explaining what will be allowed.

4. The current UI can't handle lots of apps. If apps do show up by some miracle how many can you really fit into the small format of Glass? Not many. This thing is gonna break if I tried to put the 300 apps on my MotoX or iPhone onto it. Why? You simply won't scroll through hundreds of apps. Your arm will get tired. And if you add too many it'll decrease voice recognition quality. "OK Glass, take a picture," now, did you just mean to use the Path app? The Facebook app? The instagram app? The SnapChat app? The SmugMug app? 

5. Battery life. Right now I want to use Glass for journalism. It works pretty well for that, if you watch my Sarah Francis video I filmed on Glass: But when doing video the battery only lasts 45 minutes AND it gets very hot. I expect that will get fixed, right now video is being compressed in software. I bet that when they release the public version it will be done in hardware. But, what is real-world battery use like? Already Google has had to ratchet back a bunch of features it wanted to include, like automatic uploads of photos. It now only does that when plugged in and on wifi.

6. Photo workflow sucks. Let's say I shot a bunch of photos on my Glass. Can I see them on my iPhone? No. Not immediately. I have to plug it in and be on wifi for that to happen. Can I share from Glass? Yeah, but how do I leave a description? Use my voice, right? But the problem is that isn't very accurate and doesn't work at all in noisy places like rock concerts, which is probably where you mostly want to use Glass. Google needs to make it much easier to push images over to my phone in real time and then let me upload photos and videos from there. Why? I can edit on my phone much nicer than trying to pick out good images on Glass (and try to do something like crop or change image to black and white before uploading -- you'll soon discover there are thousands of limitations to Glass' camera that your iPhone doesn't have).

7. Facebook is our main addiction and I can't do it in Glass. Sorry Google, but Google+ still isn't used by my family, friends, or those I speak with. At one recent conference I asked who isn't on Facebook and only one hand went up. Google+ isn't nearly as ubiquitous or as nice, truth be told, particularly for mobile users. This lack of Facebook support is the #1 thing that pisses me off about Glass. Do you really think Zuckerberg is gonna put his best developers on Glass? Hell no. 

8. No contextual filtering. When I'm standing on stage, why does Glass give me Tweets? Why can't it recognize that I'm at a conference at least and show me only tweets about that conference? Hashtag style. But it can't because Google's contextual OS isn't done and probably won't be done until 2015. Google Glass desperately needs those contextual signals to know when to show you appropriate stuff. Skiing? Only show me stuff about the mountain I'm on. In a meeting? Do something like Mind Meld does (show me stuff about what we're talking about). Shopping? Show me coupons and todo lists. But today Google Glass is pretty stupid, context wise, and makes the experience of using it suck in a lot of ways.

9. Developers are being held back because there isn't any distribution system for apps or Glass experiences. That will get fixed, I'm sure, but right now if a developer wants me to test out a cool app they almost always need physical access to my Glass. That isn't a good way to get lots of people trying/debugging/hyping up apps.

10. The Gruber problem. He just doesn't like the idea of Glass, even if Apple were to bring out one. I think I figured this one out after talking to hundreds of people. Most are disappointed in themselves and their lack of ability to put their phones down. They fear that if they were to go with Glass they would just totally lose themselves to their mobile addictions. They are right to be scared of that. If Glass actually worked the way I'm dreaming of I would be even more addicted to our online world than I am today. People are scared of losing their humanness. What makes them human. I get questions all the time about whether the Internet will decide everything in life for us and what that means. Personally after having them on for eight months I'm actually less scared of that than I was when first putting them on. Why? With Glass at least I'm looking at the real world more than when I'm using my phone. But it is a real fear and something Google will have to take on.

That all said, I'm still wearing mine. See you next week in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show. I'll have mine on, even if +Chris Voss  takes me to a strip club. Oh, wait, maybe not. :-)

So, what would I do if I were Google? Reset expectations. Say "this is really a product for 2020 that we're gonna build with you." First release is in 2014, but let's be honest, if it's $600 and dorky looking, it'll be doomed  -- as long as expectations are so high.

By 2020 I'm quite convinced this will be a big deal and there will be lots of competitors by then. So, if you make it about 2020, then it isn't doomed. If it's about beating the Apple iWatch in 2014? Yes, totally doomed.
Ryan Miller's profile photoSteve Furman's profile photoRoger James Thornton Brown's profile photoEd Falconer's profile photo
Facebook doesn't even put its best developers on mobile, why would they on Glass...
I always thought of Google Glass as the product that would kick off other similar eye wear. Even if others build eye wear akin to Google Glass its another way to consume Google.  
Good stuff.. I'd love a pair at some point.. Maybe 2016!
Being a developer, am not fazed by journalists' opinions as much as i respect their opinion.
I think there's a massive market for Glass with older people, trial lawyers, teachers, medical professionals, first responders, the list goes on and on. Clearly price is important, but I'm guessing your time line is going to close up fast. The one odd issue that I have experienced is that when you are far sighted, you will need oddly designed bi-focals, with a little cut out in the upper right corner to let you see what's going on with glass. But that should be easily overcome.
It's going to have uses in many workplaces. Pilots, nurses, warehouse workers, etc. That's where Glass will (kind of) take off.
Great post, except for the "Gruber problem." Talk about "asshole."
I loved the concept but I'm done caring about it until Google either offers it to me at a reasonable price, or gives it to me for free.  This is a multi billion dollar company asking people to beta test their hardware at the cost of $1500.  Sorry but thats ridiculous.

Second, and most importantly, I really want to see more usefulness out of it instead of peoples food pics.  I really thought the Glass Explorer program was meant to push the limits of it and show how it can be useful.  Just a general skim on G+ on any given day doesn't provide that impression.  

sorry for the rant but Glass has become in my eyes nothing but a bragging tool and hasn't produced much exploring except for being a virtual restaurant menu.  
Impressive and honest analysis. Really loved your new book BTW.
It's like Google Wave, there will be a spin-off to other Google products /services, the product itself could fail in the consumer market but I think it could be a success in a professional environment. 
Glass' problems, most if not all of which you addressed here, boil down to - public perception and understanding, pricing and availability, and ecosystem/UX. Much of the article linked here pivots on the first point. Wearables aren't things that have social guidelines yet. 

Really, I'm growing less certain that Glass will even launch in 2014. The boutique is still being worked on (there's evidence in Glass' system images), and the GDK isn't fully available yet. These things (in my mind) need to happen well before launch.

I think three things definitely have to happen before Glass launches to prevent it from being doomed: The boutique needs to open, the UI needs to undergo major changes to allow it to scale to the number of apps people will want to use, and the hardware has to be refined.

I'm not certain all of these things will happen by 2014, but I don't feel that they're things Glass will launch without. But who knows?
Glass doesn't matter as much as the technology it becomes down the line..... this is the very infantile stages of something much bigger.  Reminds me of when we started using smartphones over texting... The wearable market will make Google Glass seem like texting does now... still useful but limited in its abilities compared to what comes next.  
Great overview  +Robert Scoble 
+Willy Goncalves Poor analogy because this HAD an API and developers and still can't do as well as the iPhone did when it got its public API a year later.
I'm just  sold on wearable tech. Never been a real  fan of it for  a wile.. I can see it working for some but just seem a more a distraction  than practical.  Good list of  of Pro and cons  but I think it still has long way to go..
+Robert Scoble Excellent post. I haven't used Glass yet, but you bring up a lot of points that I've been concerned about, even without using a pair. I finally saw a pair in the wild and instead of asking to try it, my first instinct was to roll my eyes at it. I'm a tech nerd and by the time I saw Glass my perception of it was that it was already a joke. That says a lot, especially for me who likes to get my hands on EVERYTHING.
+Keith Barrett was kind enough to let me try his out at Disney one rainy day.  To be honest, trying it didn't make me want one.

Remember that video Google put out before Glass was available?  It really looked cool. When I finally experienced Glass, it was nothing like the video. Instead, it reminded me of using a 40 character display on an Apple ][+ computer - without Zork.

Then I learned it was dependent upon a tethered connection to his phone - another expense. Piece by piece, the entire experience of Glass just didn't hit me the way the initial hype did from the video.

Granted, I only tried it for a short while. That was enough to convince me that I didn't envy those who have it, though. Instead, I just decided it wasn't for me.  

That difference between expectation and experience is what I think is killing Glass.
This is the key line from +Mathew HonanAnd here’s the thing I am utterly convinced of: Google Glass and its ilk are coming. They are racing toward us, ready to change society, again.
Google sent me three invite codesbut I'm not going to pay $1500 for something that will be available next year for $600-700 and probably be significantly better.
I'll give anyone I see wearing them the mad dog look its no different than somebody walking around with a video camera pointing it a everything they see.  This tech is great where is is needed like in law enforcement, certain medical applications, etc.  but not out and about willy nilly.
Regarding distribution, wait and see: Yes distribution is an issue, no bones about that. Developers will find some compromise around issues like this but you're right, mass xe-adoption is difficult to attain though I try.
Robert, I just got my glass, and I must say, I agree with you. that said, I think GGlass is like the Apple MessagePad/Newton. The next version that google puts up will be like the iPhone. Let's hope. 
I watch will not was a fake out to get samsung and others to make their own.
Also, not sure what you guys experience, but is the API for FB and T very slow for you for sharing, or is this just me. 
Never mind Glass itself, where are the prescription spectacle frames that mimic it? I'd buy them, just to make folk think I had Glass. I think this is a missed opportunity.
They will have to less than $300.00 and be plug and play to ever catch on with us commoners. :-)
Hello Robert.....I have been following you ever since the google glass came
out. You may be right....but it is a new product and to tell you
something, in my book....I could not afford it. But, that is me. There
are so many people out there that to make changes in their lives, vs the
benefits of the 'glass' and of course $, it just may be slow going right
now. Look at the 'SEGWAY'!! Even when it DID come out, "that was supposed
to change EVERYONE'S lives......IT did not. I don't even think $ made that
much of a difference. Come on think about it?!! How could or can they be
beneficial, esp on a crowded sidewalk, much like a bike or skate board!!
People are not robots and just KNOW that is NOT behind them, LET alone,
that they should MOVE FOR that device. I sure would not!! hahah. Anyway,
dont jump the gun, right yet. People just may not understand it enough and
u never know....It could even be an approach to people who are VERY sight
challenged. You just never know where a NEW product is going to go. My
Mom is so sight challenged, it could change her life, where she could DRIVE
AGAIN!! Hang in their dude.....this could just be the beginning!!
Happy New Year!! +Robert Scoble
Speaking of ways it could be useful right now (at a much lower price):  Production environments.  We have line workers who must wear safety glasses anyway, so there is no "dorkiness" factor, the glasses are already dorky.  

Just showing operating instructions step-by-step would be a major improvement, combine that with notifications to for example change jobs or quantity produced and the possibility to document and easily report quality test results, quality issues, safety issues, and process inefficiencies and right there you have a good business even if it's not consumer affordable yet.  Work use leads to home use (once the worker can afford it), just like happened to PCs.  My first "real" computer was because Mom was using the same thing at work.
I don't think Glass will succeed if it tries to do a lot of things alright. I think it will succeed if it does a few things very well.
Some of the complaints are the exact same I have faced with Google TV. I think the problem is the way Google seems to operate sometimes more that it is a glass problem.
Google will probably just throw most of this tech/UI into a watch before glass itself is anything mainstream.
In 2020 glass will be obsolete.. Tech in next 10 years will move a milestone when graphene will be used.. Glass is doomed... Totally agree.. Hardware is already obsolete and I wouldn't pay this money for yesterday's hardware.. I'm hoping by 2020 I'll see fully immersive glasses which by the way are trialled now.. 
Great entry and analysis Robert. This is clearly a marathon, not a sprint and, as such, the ultimate success of this specific product isn't super relevant. With each iteration of consumer technology the social implications get more intense and the potential for resistance gets higher. The privacy concerns are real and the backlash you touched on is as well. With that said, while this and other emerging disruptive technologies like autonomous cars, increased use of robotics day to day and nano tech may face bigger adoption challenges than have been seen in past cycles, they are also all ultimately inevitable.
Google is not afraid of failure.

Whether Glass is doomed or not, it's been a learning experience.

They knew who would be testing Glass and who wouldn't be.

It's a lot like The Pixel.

Is it really such a big deal to pay premium to try experimental Google hardware before it launches? I don't think so. Be glad you got to take part in something very few people have.

It's a bit like buying a ticket for the Titanic or the Hindenburg, only... You didn't die.

If you're going to be first in line for the new-new, you've gotta embrace the potential failure. It's part of the experience - the endorphin high. Is that sensor going to make you go blind? (Flashbacks of The Jerk cross my mind. Spoiler: Steve Martin probably wouldn't have lost all his money had he used the test model Google is currently using.)

The iWatch is going to be Apple's Zune. But they don't know that yet. Because they've not discovered the brilliance behind Google's new Pay-for-the-Test-Voyage hardware experiment which you embarked upon.

+Robert Scoble, you went viral because of this. You gained from it. Whether the product becomes a reality or not, you got to ride the ride. You're smart enough to know that Google will build upon the data gathered from the tests and build something better from it.

Honestly, I don't think the expectations among the normal populace are what you think they are. Glass seems cool. The Pixel seems cool. But I don't expect to have either in the near future. Just like I don't expect to be going to Mars. But I envy everybody that is. Even if failure occurs, they paid to try something which could benefit Mankind. That's what Glass users did/are doing.

It's a bit silly, and pseudo-self-righteous, to call this "doomed". No one got hurt, improvements will be made, perhaps in an entirely different form, and you helped make it so.

That's a privilege, sir. Not PR.
The main reason I want Google Glass is Google Now integration and notifications. I don't want to have to pull out my phone or tablet for those.

I think G+ is way better than Facebook for mobile users. Facebook on mobile devices, at on least Android, was so atrocious that I removed it on all my mobile devices. And since mobile is my main social networking platform, I haven't logged into Facebook for months. 
Specialized applications, as mentioned, like doctors, paramedics, search and rescue, etc. could well be huge for Glass (and  the inevitable competitors.)

However, privacy concerns need to be fully addressed. Currently, I believe the camera light can be disabled by those who know what they are doing. That has to be fixed. Ditto for eyeball scanning. The user needs to be able to turn that off and know it is really off.
Any Google Employees with Glass that don't like advertising for your company, shoot me a message so I can.
I think "control" is too strong in its implication although I don't think you meant it directly. Apples control is insidious really. They define the conversation almost organically now since too many of the tech press pretty much only view and understand technology through an Apple lens these days. Basically they have cultivated such extreme fans right in the space that is most important (analyst/journalist) that any semblance of journalistic integrity has gone out the window in many cases
I always thought Glass, Explorer Edition, was an experiment to see society's reaction to the product. 
The number of places where Google Glass will be banned is going to go up - especially for those occasions where the journalistic/recording aspect of it (for which it is great) is pissing those off that do not want their deeds recorded, and yes, that is going to include instances of activities that fall into the law enforcement category. They hate cameras already, and try to stop you from using them, and there will be cases where they will not stop at smashing the precious 1.5k$ device on your head.
+Shaun Snee agree. I think Google with Glass are trying to kick start the market. Others will follow and eye wear will be another way to consume Google even it is not with their Glass product. 
I will never wear these. I'm waiting for implants
+Robert Scoble you've brought many good points, the battery, the uploading, Facebook app, etc, however I don't think Glass is doomed, I not only love wearing mine but the chance to demonstrate how they work to those that ask, to me, it's priceless.
Just today, I gave a family of 4 the biggest smiles inside an airplane from Vegas to Miami, their 12 year old loves technology and approached me knowing exactly what I was wearing and asked for a demo.
Another thing, no casino asked me to take them off, NONE, in fact, supervisors were eager to try them on and were fascinated by them after.

My company is currently developing a few apps for them. I'll keep you posted on those in the near future.

Let's hope you're wrong.

Happy New Year, my friend, kisses to +Maryam Scoble and the entire family.
I constantly (and sometimes frustratingly) deal with people who still struggle with email on a PC. As a result of people like this, the iPad has become incredibly popular because it is easy to use and portable. For Glass to be a success it needs to be ridiculously simple to use, having to spend too much time setting it up will totally kill it as a popular consumer device.

Also, just like any iWatch that might come into existence, these devices still need to be paired with a phone. I wouldn't be too surprised if this is why we haven't seen the fabled iWatch yet, because if you have to pair the iWatch with your iPhone then it really doesn't give you anything you don't have already. At least Glass opens up a world of options for augmented reality apps.

I still want Glass though.
Maybe nobody ever called you an asshole for wearing Glass, but I called you a Narcissistic Douchebag. Did I call it, or what?
Oh the genius Scoble received transition training from his flip phone to smart phone? He sounds like the guy who said the internet was dead and now he is selling jugs. 
I'm new to Glass and still considering whether or not to keep Glass. It is less useful than I thought it would be for some of the reasons you gave. But I actually like it a lot. It's pretty elegant, and the promise is huge. So here's my vote for Glass that doesn't die and Google to stick with it.
On another note, Google tends to improve products regularly without a ton of fanfare. They are in that way at least the anti-Microsoft and also different than Apple. If they apply that style to Glass and have some patience, they could succeed rather well. 
Valuable feedback...prob the best we'll see on the merits of Google Glass 
+Robert Scoble I have long admired your ability to remain mostly objective in your reporting and keep the line separate in your editorial messages. Cheers fir that.

Way back in the early 90's I read a book called Snowcrash, by Neil Stephenson. They had these frowned upon nerds called gargoyles that were covered in wearable tech. In the book they were not painted in a favorable light, but I immediately romanticized how awesome it would be to have that tech so accessible.

Before that - things like Star Trek where LaForge had his visor, Dick Tracy and his watch, and so on - spurred my imagination. I didn't think that we'd be so advanced by this time in my life.

I'm concerned that this pioneering tech will fall prey to ignorance and fear and we may miss out on all the opportunity it can bring us. Imagine health care pros able to annotate procedures hands free, on the fly, so they can spend more time on patient care and less time doing paperwork.

Imagine the possibilities for people with physical limitations and bed bound patients who can't move their head, and on and on.

Ok, so it's not what you want yet. It seems that many of the issues you had are software challenges. When google opens it up, watch how the clever folks come in to solve those problems.

As far as the hardware goes, early adopters will surely continue to share their opinions and if google plays it right, maybe you will be able to snap google glass on your designer frames.

It wasn't that long ago that you had to lug around a 10 pound brick with a tiny screen and dial in to the net when you traveled, and now you can get away with a single device that fits in a pocket and is always on the net. :)

Thanks for sharing openly with all of us!

    Ever since I saw the ornate and excessive packaging on an Alpha product, I knew Glass was just a product to be Marketed and advertised. How much of your FEEDBACK +Robert Scoble  has influenced the commercial Glass arriving in 2014?  

How much research have they really done?  What are they doing now?Sergey made-it with the Head of Marketing girl, not the head of research girl, because it's about a product to be sold
I was moved by you mentioning that the employees aren't using OR evangelizing the product.
+Robert ScobleI finally got my pair last month, and in the context of vertical applications, this tech is a game changer.

Take for example logistics and supply chain, even in its current form, the Google glass is a game changer. 
Mark.....One SUPER major importance you hit on it the 'PRIVACY
FACTOR'....TOUCHE!!! That in itself, is a NO ......'Cant......touch
this'!! Not to sound prudish but that definitely.....SPEAKS FOR ITSELF.
THANK U!!!!+ Mark Lambert
Great Point!!! It is already behind our technology, but, dont know if u
read my could be helpful in the Medical Field for people with
compromised sight, with expert design and fundamentals of the the RIGHT
Doctors in research. So I do believe that it does have it's place. +Piotr
If it fails in its first year it fails in its existence. It might come up a bit later but as a product itself it will fail. What it will do will result in other products which produce something inspired by it and making it better.
+Robert Scoble I wasn't being literal just hinting to the rather sub par experience Facebook is on mobile compared to say Path or Google+ apps.
+Robert Scoble I've booked us at the Spearmint Rhino for the Google Glass only VIP room.  LOL.
Curious about the 2nd #6 - Glass doesn't have an instant upload/g+ (sorry I'm not up to date on my Glass capabilities) that you can use with your iPhone?
Nicely done, Robert - very apt points and arguments...
Totally agreed on the speculated price point being too high. Developers like +Brandyn White are going to decide its ultimate fate. That being said, Glass is absolutely a privilege and I am honored to own one. (No Kool-Aid shooting or crack smoking here, I promise.)

My Glass perspective is a little unusual. Unlike most of you here, I could not afford Glass. I really wanted to take part, so I decided to share my Glass experience with my community here in Central Florida. [35 people in believed in what I was doing enough to make Glass possible for me.] So when people approach me and ask about it, whether they try it on or not, I can't complain. My personality, I'm told, has made mine - and others' - Glass experience an AMAZING one. We have a short film in the fest circuit involving Glass, people all over the state keep inviting me to talk about Glass... I can't wait to see what 2014 holds. It's a helluva ice breaker! I just hope this enthusiasm and curiosity is never lost.

If I can find a travel sponsor to get me to CES, I'll see you and +Chris Voss at the Spearmint Rhino ;-)
I think the most fundamental problem behind gGlass (and Siri too) is that any product you must speak with in public to operate is doomed, regardless of how great the voice recognition is. On the bus, in a meeting, during a lecture, during breakfast, at the shopping mall, at the grocery store, while taking a dump, while waiting in line etc... there's just NO WAY I wanna announce to my surrounding that I'm going to "open Facebook", "tweet this", "take a note", "schedule this for me tomorrow", "send a message to my daughter and remind her to...", "Google this", "where's my wife" etc... It's personal. I wanna handle it all discretely, and efficiently. It's breaking the rules of social behaviour. And I don't think operating gGlass with your hand is a long term solution, nor with eye tracking (because that's dangerous in a lot of situations).. and if you'll need a secondary device in your pocket to operate it efficiently it sort of defies the purpose of the whole thing.
So yeah... The gGlass is probably doomed as a mainstream product.. I completely agree.
Interesting perspectives as always from the Scobleizer.
Great analysis. I think in the end there will be more than one Google Glass as mainstream product. Compare it to mobiles, phablets, tablets, wearables. 
Eventually one sees a way that Apple (or someone else, but maybe not Samsung, based on their past experience with smart phones, smart watches, etc.) could come in and 'do it right', the way Apple did with the iPod and iPhone (remember, they weren't the first to start building MP3 players or mobile phones).
I agree with +Robert Scoble regarding that Apple control the press. Here in Denmark the news on TV in primetime can use several minutes about new products from Apple. They never mention any news regarding product from for example Samsung or Google.

And are there really no other news from around the world that is more important than a digital product?
Hmmmm, can't decide if its the equivalent of going about your day with your Bluetooth Headset in your ear in the hope someone calls you, or whether its the same as wearing your iPhone on your face? Either way, its not for me. I mean really, who actually needs Google on their face all day? On the other hand, do something "activity" specific like Recon Instruments do for Skiing or Cycling, that I will buy. I know Google are playing with Strava, but the Google Glass won't stand up to regular use on a bike I'd bet. And Strava itself has many flaws itself.
+Mikkel Johansen Apple don't control the press. The press gives Apple coverage because it generates massive amounts of interest (and if you're on the web, page views). Putting "Apple" in a headline, even if there's only a tenuous link to them, ups your page views massively. 
Google is also making a huge mistake by over saturating the Explorer community. They are inviting too many people in this late in the beta but are still charging them the same price I paid to get these back in June. I feel like a lot of people will be upset when it gets released in a few months for a third of the price.

Glass is cool, but it's not worth $1,500 for a few months of "early" access.
Very well said sir. I have found myself wearing them less out in public. I have had mine for a little over six months now.
The only thing Google Glass needs to win is the keyboard. If they only made it a bit easier for me to put my keyboard and gesture system on it, they can still win in 2014!
It only took me 20 minutes to put 5-TILES keyboard (formerly known as ETAOI keyboard, which I've shown you last spring in London) on the i'm Watch – yes, the Italian one – and it turned it from a useless junk into quite powerful and unique tool, even if it's still the 1st gen. prototype device. (By unique I mean that it can do the things that are not possible or practical on smartphone or a tablet).
People behind GG just have to get back to the roots – after all, the original Glass was invented as a device for quickly taking written notes! Come on guys, just give me a chance to make some billions for you (I'll only take a small percentage, I promise ;-)!

Link bait - Link bait - Link bait!!!   :D

Doomed? Maybe it just won't get the traction you wish it would in 2014 (at least the first 3 quarters of the year).

People said the iPhone and iPad were too expensive and nobody would buy them... as we now know: WRONG! ;)

It may not get out there the way you hoped and dreamed it would early on, but doomed is a very strong word to use.
Well thought out article and some great suppositions.

I've had Glass for exactly 12 days and it's been a game changer in my view, particularly when it comes to capturing images and video of my family or life. I would not have had the sheer volume and I cannot imagine going back to a mobile phone.

Sure, it's got bugs (champagne cork noise broke my audio last night until I "clapped" the levels back, but it's an incredible device.

Sure it's a prototype, but look at XE12, that was my first experience of Glass. I didn't need a fitting, 15 minutes and I was using it, not a big deal.

Like anything, once people understand it, it makes total sense. Privacy issues - stick a red light on the front, then nobody cares as they KNOW when you record, it's the fear of not knowing that upsets them, and CHANGE. Nobody likes change (well almost nobody). 

Is Google Glass DOOMED +Robert Scoble? Respectfully, no I don't agree. It's true innovation, a game changer that will allow us to capture and share our lives with our family and/or friends, the potential is to CONNECT US even greater to each other, with information, the more we have of that, the better we can make decisions and we all advance.

And finally, I don't know why, but Glass seems to make me more polite,more courteous to others, maybe because I'm aware it's unusual, but like an ambassador of a product or device that is truly is a pioneer in wearable tech, I LOVE IT!
Sean G
+Robert Scoble. I said this day one. Simply put. Good for Select few. Drs. Med field...
Im too buzzed up on good beer still to care. Plus life.

Google glass is creepy... but you knew that. Ie. Shower Pic that proved your point. & your point again, by asking +Larry Page that question. You'd make a great Advisor. Truth... Hope +Guy Kawasaki can do the same at Moto. They need great minds...
User oriented minds.
Great post +Robert Scoble but I will take a chance and say that things will move a lot faster than you think...
Significant coming from you. Well reasoned.
+Robert Scoble It seems like you've learned pretty well by now how to create sensationalist headlines that get picked up quick by the media :)

Glass isn't doomed because Glass isn't released.  It's not ready.  And Google knows this.  You were lucky enough to get a sneak peak at it, along with a small group of others.  The majority of your complaints are directly related to the beta/in-dev status of this product.

The problem is that people with disposable income are purchasing these things in expectation that they're some sort of miracle machines.  They aren't.  Glass is a work in progress, super beta, and perhaps Google should somehow make that more clear.  Google is developing it at its own pace.

It's not often that a company releases development units to the public, and with that in mind, let's not go overboard with unfounded assumptions based on something...still in development.

Maybe they made the mistake of releasing it to the "private-public" too early, but your strange assumptions regarding this being an Apple vs. Google 2014 thing are way off base.
I hope Glass fails, not a fan of an Orwellian world.
I don't think it's what's on the outside that made this guy's year so challenging. I think it's what's on the inside.
N°3 not enough apps is crucial but will change for the better as Glassware evolves for business advantage. 2014 b2c app big revenue for developers is less likely compared to b2b app designs that bring quantum benefits for in the field type roles. Does glass have to start mass market to be deemed a success? 
If the issue is price and that issue is going to doom sales -- which will shrink the installed base and make developers less interested -- why wouldn't Google either a) subsidize Glass to get it down to a more affordable price point, or b) hold off until it can manufacture it for less and charge less for it? Why nudge Glass out onto the stage when it's not ready to perform and the audience has its tomatoes ready? 
With a killer app nothing else would matter.  That's the challenge for the consumer space.
it is amazing regardless of the people who refuse to spend the money.  those of us who know it is amazing will continue to love glass
a surgeon here in Chicago just used it during surgery to enable himself to compare to reference/internet without turning his head from the patient.  I'm sure there are other uses in this instance but this is what I remember from the news.  It sure sounded like Glass was a huge benefit for him.  And so, another industry is earmarked for marketing.
+Robert Scoble I start laughing when I remember how I struggled to install our Taxi App on your Glass while in Dublin :) It took one hour due to driver issues. Just to install one app.

I think Google is trying to build a trend. They will sell more advertising if there are more devices like Glass. They really do not care if their device will be the successful one, they want the "always on" human to become a reality.

Google does not build for this year or next year. Google prepares the future. And is doing this with all moments we are not online (see their recent agreement with Audi).
Or I might be a little bit wrong: Google has not target our sleeping time. Yet.

+Robert Scoble. Definitely respect that you speak your mind, regardless of the situation. Whether Apple, Google or others, you always seek out what works best for you and share your honest experience. 
+Robert Scoble interesting what you wrote in one of your comments about the positive bias of the tech press towards Apple. I'm looking forward to reading more details about it.
I would use mine more but I'm practically blind in my right eye and so it discourages use.  If they had a left eyed version I might do much more with them.
+Robert Scoble is probably right, I think the pricing is beyond users in emerging economies. Glass is great for solving challenging issues, I believe
If Apple really controlled the press we wouldn't be reading about how the NSA can hijack an iPhone. Fail. 
+Robert Scoble Exactly. If Apple controlled the press we wouldn't be seeing anything about the NSA or the denials. Thank you for illustrating my point.
Good post.
It is interesting to realise that the success of Glass depends on the ability to think different about using contextual services. There should be no problem with the lack of apps you can control on your Glass because you subscribe to services elsewhere. The contextual engine should be working very well however, so that is crucial indeed.

So the success of Glass will be defined next to it's price to the ability of people to understand and adapt to this new model of contextual services. And with that the irony is that it could well be that the success of Glass is made in the end by the ability of Apple to design and execute this for the iWatch...
+Rif Kiamil There might be a divide in take-up of Glass. 3 years after the introduction of FaceTime I still put tape over all the video cameras on my computers, tablets & phones, hating the thought of someone  me on camera. Perhaps the same sort of irrational fears will linger for Glass.
Saying "Glass is doomed" is like saying "Tesla is doomed" because not everyone will be driving electric cars by the end of the year (because they are not yet widely available, because they are too expensive, because it's easier to find a gas station than an electric charging station....)
I'd say that the view from +Robert Scoble  that "Google Glass is doomed" is more about Google's Influencer Management program than the technology.

As the former CEO of Kred, I know a little about influencer management.

Read my POV on this at
All of the concerns listed could have just as easily been applied to the concept of a 'smart phone' when they were first launched (some still apply actually) Glass is 1st gen tech when it comes right down to it. Glass is alpha right now, not even beta. For an alpha product it's pretty solid and they are rolling it out just like they did with their software products on a social/invite basis. You're right though, if there is too much buzz too early with unmet expectations, well... we saw what happened with Buzz.
Rick S
Not just no but hell no, not even in 2016! Its time to develop some sort of jamming process for when the NSA uses your glass to all the bad shit everybody is afraid of!

I think I have a new project!
Smart phone, telephone, computer...right on.
I disagree about them being unable to get the price under $500 in 2014.

If you look at the hardware specs, other than POSSIBLY that projection screen and the eye sensor, there's nothing special or expensive about any component in the system.  Basic touchpad, same CPU as the 2011-era Galaxy Nexus (probably will be updated to something more power-efficient in 2014, maybe a dual Cortex-A7 or a quad Cortex-A7 like the Snapdragon 400.  Thermal management is the key considering the device starts throttling at 35C to avoid burning your head so I'll be shocked if you see a Krait as opposed to a Cortex-A7.), small battery, basic camera - NOTHING about Glass is in any way a major cost driver except for possibly the display/eye sensor.
Glass isn't important. It is a sideline, a sidekick that doesn't do the job that well. Do you have to be that connected? The problem is we need to be less connected. The point is that we consume too much because the smart phone has enabled us too, now it affects our relationships, how we divide our attention when we are with Family and Friends. Glass doesn't improve the social settings or relations, it makes them worse. 

The thing that will be a greater benefit is some AI that will do the requested tasks, so we don't have to constantly look up or down to respond. That is the REAL KEY to success, not adding some device on your face that makes you less connected to society than ever.
Let me fix that for you. You're an asshole.
+Robert Scoble I agree, Glass XE is meant for early adopters. This is why I think 2014 will be about Glassware on multiple devices (the original vision of WiMMlabs) and Glass XE will continue to be an exclusive thing for the tech obsessed.
The other reasons the cost is high are to deter people from buying an alpha product and then complaining about it, and because they've already sent out one updated set and may very well do more.
Great insightful post, Robert. Probably for Google at this stage and this year it actually does not matter whether the glass becomes the hit or not. This is the reason why there is no API activity etc. For now at the users' expense Google educates them as to wearable devices, uses the glass as a hardware for testing purposes and researches what users really want, how they use it and what would accept. Let's say it's being lean in a big way. With that being said, the glass is not intended to be the mass product. I assume during next couple years we'll see plethora of wearable devices of different formats with the glass as common ancestor. Devices that would share common API and platform grown from the glass experiment. Another reason not to develop now API for the glass ONLY.
+Robert Scoble WHAT?  Why in the world would you assume something as absurd as the cost of an optometrist of opthalmologist visit into the base cost of Glass.  That's utterly ridiculous:
1)  Glass currently has zero support for prescription lenses, it doesn't require an eye doctor visit as it is and this isn't going to change.
2)  If a user requires vision correction, they're going to be visiting an eye doctor anyway, Glass or no Glass.  So including the price of this visit in a base cost assumption for Glass is ridiculous.
3)  Rochester Optical is estimating somewhere around $100 for their prescription lens shields for Glass.  (Most likely basic resin or PC lenses with basic coatings, single-vision).  This cost will likely be insurance-reimbursable and so needs to be kept separate from the base cost of Glass in all cases.

As far as your comment about the in-person fitting:  Yes, that's a free option now, but it has not been required for at least 2-3 months.  It's rather silly to assume that it'll continue to be free even in the final consumer version and thus factor in its cost to any estimates for a consumer release of Glass in 2014.

The current manufacturing cost estimate for Glass is around $200 - - so predicting they're going to have trouble hitting a $500 price point is rather silly.  I'd say $350-400 is more reasonable, partly depending on the level of consumer/customer support planned for the final consumer version.  They might push it closer to $500 to include budget for higher-than-typical levels of consumer support and engineering NRE initially.  (Kind of a similar strategy to Tesla and their EVs, which are dropping significantly in price with every new generation.)
It's more like a new tech toy. Once you get your hands on it, you can get bored after a while.
+Robert Scoble This is a very interesting conversation that goes beyond Google Glass to the broader question about wearable technologies. We need to not only consider the functionality of the device but also of the user experience, supporting applications, technologies and networks, and cultural biases and expectations. Tablet computing went nowhere in the 90s, but the iPad was hugely successful when Apple launched it a decade later. I'm glad that Google had the vision to develop Glass and can't help but believe that it will be an important evolutionary step for wearable tech.
+Robert Scoble your article brings up a ton of my thoughts.   I have never seen anyone with Glass outside of Google I/O.  I got my pair last April and I have enjoyed the Rock Star treatment I receive being the only one wearing them.  

Key points where we agree:
- Price is way too high for the average consumer. - 300.00 would make Glass more reasonable. 
- Battery is significantly lacking when using video.  See my answer to the problem below in my random thoughts.
- Camera and camera placement is excellent. more below...
- Apps are going to be a nightmare unless they improve the usability within the menu system.  I have a very simple fix but I have not overcome the loss of pinned menus issue.

Other considerations:
I have no idea what happens when Glass is fitted for you.  I have had three separate pairs sent in the mail and all of them worked right out of the box.  Your article references needing the fitting but in my singular experience fitting is not necessary. 

I keep hoping for a SIM and SD slot over my left ear with another battery.  

All in all your article is very close to my own thoughts.   My biggest warning is don't give Glass to users that lack an understanding of BETA products.   I am hoping the "Explorers" were ALPHA and we are not seeing the V2 as a release candidate.   

Random Thoughts: 
The camera is a great feature especially when watching my daughter perform.  The natural image stabilization of a product mounted in close proximity of my eyes is the best feature of Glass.  I no long watch my tablet I watch the live performance.

Coding for Glass has grown by leaps and bounds  The new GDK has increased development opportunities and simplified the process.

My solution to the battery issue: I solved the issue by attaching a Mophie charger.  Just for fun buy the lighted Rocket Fish cables from +Best Buy that way it looks like you have data being transferred into your head.  Good video is here: illuminated Visible Blue Sync & Charge Cable for iPhone 5 
CU in 2016 or > + , dear Google Glass. Hope I'm not wearing any spectacles then... 
My Google Glass user account is set up. Lemme explore. I'll give feed back soon
I recently got mine in November and have been wearing Glass in public.  I have not encountered any negative comments to date.  Generally, the reaction has been positive and people are curious.
Jimbo R
I've been around the workforce long enough to share a long-passed "early adopter new tech" moment.  Early in my career, I had the opportunity to carry a Motorola bag phone - I know; pretty sweet.  This was before cell towers really existed, so we bought our own tower, and connected to our phone system.  The phones worked in a 1 mile radius metro area.  We were instructed to carry our phones every where.  The first day I had it, I took it to a local deli to get a sandwich with some co-workers.  It actually rang while I was in line - deli patrons & co-workers freaked out, since mobile really didn't exist yet ... embarrassed, I bolted out of the deli and answered the wireless monstrosity in the alley outside.  Even with that horrific techno-social awkward moment, the promise of the technology didn't escape me...Glass will definitely have those moments, but the promise is there.  Keep plugging.
+Curt Grimes, what's amazing about this is that it represents another thrust by geeks into the social world.
+Aaron Boyer I've had Glass for a couple months now and I agree with Scoble's points.  There's still time for Google to fix some of these things before a real release.
'possibly carcinogenic to humans' - World Health Organisation

ye, I'll wait too.
Price = Agree
Battery = Agree
Apps = Agree
Camera = Weak
Hot potato = yup it's like having a small heater on your head (software issue)
User interface = confusing at first, still tricky
Fun Level = Depends
Geek level = Uber
Failure = Who knows, but did the first iPod fail... it's first gen tech man get real!

Where your right is the year 2020 it will be a chip on your head that hackers will just take it over! But hey what do I know...

Device most like it?
First generation Apple IPod

If you compare google glass to the first generation iPod you would say exactly the same thing that your saying about google glass.

Then again Robert I followed you when you were really just a photo guy and pretty much had the same comments that you had back then about everything else ranging from Microsoft to Apple.....

Who am I? Just a fly on the wall, watching the show!

The only reason I spent time responding to this statement is that I can not imagine why you would use your PR media attention to kill a product launch that would probably happen on treasure island on some cool barges where you would have been wined and dined if you had a review that was at least not as negative as the term doomed!!!!

Who wouldn't want to be called a pirate of Silicon Valley anyways? Arrrrrrgh Matie you've now angered the pirates Arrrrrgh. Take down Scobles PR battleship! Hah

But seriously who paid you to create this article

Competitor X?

Regardless you have now made it so my Uber geekness will not be finished by the year 2020 and moved the step towards singularity so far off of exponential growth that the kids may never see it!

So now I will hold my google pirate eyepatch in shame like I am the dog with a cone on my head

Up- Cone Of Shame

First person to build me a facial detection game for google glass that detects peoples faces and replaces it with Scobles head wins a prize!

Just kidding Scoble

Give the pirates a chance Arrrrr

As to the reactions to Glass - I'd agree that overall, they have been positive.

There does seem to be an age factor there.  A few weeks ago I went to an off-site celebration of a work milestone, with representatives of our customers there.
1)  Most of the people on the "customer" side of things were younger.  (Under 40, or early 40s) Their reaction was curiosity - they were all happy and enthusiastic to try it on.
2)  Same for the younger people from where I work.
3)  The older people were all paranoid about being recorded.  Even after explaining that the battery would be dead in 20 minutes, they were still paranoid.  I wound up taking Glass off just to make them feel at ease.

Meanwhile, at other bars I've been to with younger crowds, the response has been positive (mostly curiosity).  I've met only one person under 40 who was uncomfortable with Glass.  There were some sarcastic remarks about seeing through clothes and recording - but the tone was clearly a joking one in those cases.

Glass definitely highlights generation gaps in my opinion.
Way to go captain obvious. I admire your self promotion given your sophomoric prognostications. As they say hate the game not the player.
+Al Brown ,Robert is blissfully unaware that nerds react to notoriety of tech far more than the average person. (That people react to HIM as the scobelizer and not random dad). Because i remember when I saw a dude who looked like my dad on a Segway (which I did when they first came out.. And my inner voice said "dude! What are you doing with that? Why are you rolling around looking like some cyborged oompah loompa?" But my response was polite and diplomatic because dude is my dads age:"wow, um so that's a Segway. That tech must be really impressive when you're on it." Unsaid"in order for you to be going around looking like such a wanna be fail". (Que the part where my acting agency sets up a thing where a bunch of us go and try it).. This is a fascination of "road kill"... ALL of the model/actresses and random cute girls mid 20s-early 30s i was with on new years eve looked at the guy in google glass and rolled their eyes. thats your sexy audience which will lead the charge. how many hot girls do you see in it?
The hottest nerd I'd seen going into lunch at google campus a few weeks ago.. I smiled at him until he put them on AS I walked by. Cue the "cheese" music, all I could think was "why don't you pull out a ratty copy of Herman Hesse instead? GROAN Are you recording my butt? I think you are probably a terrible kisser "
Smile turned into "ew"expression and I walked past him without looking back. The association of glassholism is like a "small organ" complex among girls. If you're wearing it you're obviously making up for something lacking.. Mostly style.
I'm attracted to nerds specifically because they tend NOT to jump on crazy random trends related to looks.. And like it or not glass is an esthetic product.. Looking like Walmart designed the frames rather than d & g.
Show of hands: how many of the people posting here are men?dads? Yup, pretty much everybody. 
I have been using my glass everywhere. I've never noticed any negativity. I love them. I use then all the time. I know they're not for everyone. You will get more out of this product if you're using the Google eco system. For now there isn't a lot of glassware for the device and to use the innovative apps that are being designed you have to side load it (which many might not be comfortable using. I think it's a great start. This product is in beta so obviously it's not complete. I'm sure if you give it a year or two and get developers on board this will be an excellent product. Like every other social device you need all's to be successful. 
+Garner Marshall I do get some WTF looks at the gym now and again, but hey, it's Guilford, CT, and you'd expect that for something a little radical in a quiet town. Other than that, people don't seem to notice much or are curious.
Yes you're right +John Blossom I can understand that reaction in a quiet town. I use mines mostly in DC (is supposed to be a city) and NYC which I visit pretty often. I wear mines to the gym also and the women there actually all for their picture to be taken after I explain to them what it is and how it works. 
If you don't want them any more, I'll seriously be happy to take them.
What is weird is that everything ON Google+ is praise for Google Glass and nearly everyone outside of Google+ is a huge skeptic of it
+Andrew Dodd my experience is the complete opposite. Older people love it. It's like Sci-Fi finally becoming reality. Younger people were mixed (some were "meh" about it because they are waiting to see if it gets cheaper, some were excited). I see NO real relationship overall to age. It has been more based on personality. People who are creative or embrace new things love it, and people who fear tech or hate change dislike it (until they try it). Most people I've met that were skeptical were in their 30s and live off of the media.
+Hasan Ahmad that's not true either. Massive Glass following on Twitter. In fact most #ifihadglass winners were Twitter active.

My experience is the same as +Robert Scoble - I wear mine everywhere (bars, restaurants, work, shopping) and have never had anything but positive encounters. I've given hundreds of demos to people from around the world in the theme parks. I think personality has a lot to do with it. If you look confident or approachable, you get good experiences. If you look embarrassed or underhanded you get WTF.
+Keith Barrett
Lol I don't Know some "Older people " who see it as SciFi come to life kind of remember what happens with those Wearable system in those SciFi stories too. lol .  I seeing them as not evil  but just need to really see they would fit for practical use..  Work and all  and if they are a Want vs a Need as well.
+George Greene Well I'm one of those "older people" and can tell you most older people love it (who can see well using it). I'd say the skeptics for me have been much younger, tech jaded people. My view is this is not an age situation. Your just encountering people who resist change of all types.
+Keith Barrett
 I don't count my self as "Old" even if i am over 50 but tech  to me has to about use and function and not just because it it's cool ..
I watch our current tech go from Vacuum tubes to Chips that are the size  of a stamp do more than those tubes ..
I seen a lot  people buying into Fads and tech toys and all ..Yes there has to be a good use for the glasses or people who just said oh that's nice and moved on..
  I personalty haven't seen a need for my self..  But then i been at this a long time and yes I jumped on the Have to have tech toys  some time ago but grew out of that..
Why? .. "Planed Obsolescence" The "now generation " has helped   accelerate the "Planed Obsolescence" that started many years ago..
Tech that was  to last for a few year  now last a year if we are lucky.

 But now it's about The Next "Hot tech" item comes out and we "Want it"..
Andthat is what "Planed Obsolescence" has become ..
It use to be more about the life span of the device..
Now it about re-selling the device to buy the next version up..  It more about consumption than buying things that give a  better life . 

In the old Scifi  where the world is made better by the tech and all is well.
       Then it turns to the people serving the tech and addicted to that tech.   I just tend to buy what see is practical  more than a have to have..
I would have to see a real need for me to get the glasses.
IMO, I agree with +Becktemba Kazemde in that the camera part of Google is what has turned off much of the public to this.  Few like having a camera shoved in their face and Google Glass allows this shove anywhere / anytime and the person not wearing them will not know when they are recorded.  Google Glass is now associated by the general public with intrusive tech thanks to the camera.  Even if Google offers Glass without the camera in the future, many would still believe it can record images anyways, thanks to the bad press on them.  And even though you can purchase the same discrete recording tech elsewhere, Google Glass will always be looked at as the benchmark on intrusive tech regardless.  This is a shame because I've played around with wearable displays about 10 years ago and hoped Google Glass would have taken off.
+John Bunk Perhaps it's the camera, I do think that a good portion of the social resistance has to do with the asymmetry of the design. Having one side of your face "mechanized" (Borg) might hit a deep chord in how people assess the social acceptability of someone's face.
Excellent write-up, Rob.  I've not seen anything from you since we alpha/beta'd Win 95!  Only 'cause I've not been looking closely.  Your writing style is excellent, and I appreciate your detailed explanation on Glass.  Thanks, very much.
+Robert Scoble Maybe it's novelty effect has expired on you. When the original iPhone came out, it wasn't even the first smartphone and it was pretty lackluster in terms of hardware and features But the fact that it was the first phone to bring a useable multi-touch experience to the mass market made people want it.

Google has the killer idea; they just need the killer function.
+Tochi Obudulu Yes, the novelty does wear off quickly, but the utility is definitely on the rise. The All Access Music function from Google Play is very well designed, as is Google+ integration, and I am encouraged by some of the fitness apps, though they're pretty bare bones so far. The real breakthrough will be in apps that interpret our immediate surroundings in a much more sophisticated context.
Sorry, this post is full of inaccuracies. First of all, not every Google employee is allowed to dogfood glass, it's only for the selected subset of internal and external people. Second, statements like "facebook is not on glass, therefore it's glass' fault" are simply BS. If facebook wanted to implement an app for glass, they could clearly do it, the SDK is available for a while. 'No contextual filtering', 'price is too high' and 'photo workflow sucks' are missing the point that the glass is the work in progress and cost of manufacturing, limited availability and free hardware upgrade for explorers totally justify the $1,500. Obviously, it's absolutely reasonable to expect the market price to be much less when glass goes for a public availability.
Gruber is blowing hot air when he says he wouldn't be interested in this even if Apple did it. He would be slobbering all over his Macbook Pro to place the first order regardless of the cost.
Glass is like chromebook, google will persevere even if the initial reception is lukewarm, cos they believe a watch is too limited as a form. They'll also make a watch, but it's more as a safer bet. The press laughed at samsung note, but it turned out people love large screen, and aren't concerned about looking stupid
Gerry D
Plus I heard they give you eye cancer.
well what about people that really do need glasses like me for example ... i'll not mind wearing them ...all the time since i'm stuck with my "blindness" forever
You are correct! are correct! are correct! nailed down perfectly.
BTW telescreens are not cool even as glasses
Thank you very much for your comment on my post. I can not imagine a life
without sight. Even, worse, would be that you once had that gift of sight
and then all of a sudden for any unfortunate situation you loose it.
Please if we can put the amount of money into the 'toys' like the 'GLASS',
then we can make it happen for the less fortunate ppl in our world. You
are a very caring, special man. +LaJuan Hughes.
I don't think google has the blind and sight challenged at heart for this, no need for worry. allot of other startups do and this tech is here to stay.
That is nice....and I respect your thoughtful opinion. Someone who has the
$ for the 'Glass' for enjoyment and a 'fun toy'....does not surprise me in
the least. Also, it is a shame that the 'Glass' is NOT edible when it
comes down to the situation of life or death. The 'Glass' never impressed
me from the beginning, unless it served an important service. I always,
thought that the 'Glass' was a object someone came up to challenge new
technology or (to keep up with the BIG WIGS) when they had nothing else to
do with (pocket change), or a failed business write off. With that kind
of money and a need for some sort of attention, esp, when $ can not make
them more happy even in love (just more comfortable in life)!! Please do
not regard me as bitter or unhappy, as I am very happy with my life. Some
ppl are just NEVER happy. I cant get excited over something that does NOT
help, in someway, in this life of turmoil and War. As their
own. I expect to get plenty of negative mail from this, but I have been a
nurse forever and that is all that makes me the happiest. Have a great
I've only had mine for a week but I think, Robert, you are absolutely right in pegging 2020 as the year it takes off. Like you, my use is primarily going to be for journalism and as such, it's a neat supplemental tool for POV stuff. I see Glass right now as a tool like the GoPro, or my Phantom 2 drone, that can enrich some of my work with new perspectives. For the general public, as it is now and will be until those shortcomings you so aptly identify are overcome, I think Glass is going to be an object of ridicule that the tech press will label a flop..... until, as you say... 2020. Maybe 2019 :-)
I don't agree with #2 (These are too hard to buy and acquire.). Unless the process has changed recently, I just bought mine online this month and it was quickly shipped to me. There is a learning curve, for sure, but I've found it pretty intuitive.
+Robert Scoble  I just got them and I love mine, yes it hurts a bit to pay so much but what a novelty. They are useful too! I agree with you in some points but that's all speculative. This is the fist iteration of a real wearable technology, I don't think this is dead.
Eye tracking
+Robert Scoble The really scary thing? The eye sensor
+Jen Vargas Developers like +Brandyn White are going to decide its ultimate fate.
OpenShades – Google Glass eye tracking
Brandyn White and people in the community, OpenShades, have already added eye-tracking to Google glass by adapting from Pupil, an open source eye tracking hardware and software platform that started as a thesis project at MIT. Their objectives include computer vision and recognition, augmented reality, and accessibility.
I think the hack only adds $25 to the cost.

Consumer level eye trackers
There are consumer-level eye trackers that are available now, and were demoed at CES. One of them is $99.

Eye-tracking on Google Glass?

+Andrew Dodd NOTHING about Glass is in any way a major cost driver except for possibly the display/eye sensor
I’m wondering how much an official Google Glass eye tracker would boost the cost.
Eye tracking patents
Notably, Google has been granted an eye tracking patent that involves recording advertisement impressions through eye focus with pay-per-gaze, and another patent that demonstrates a method to unlock a device by having a sensor in the head-mounted accessory track the patterns of the pupil.
Apple also has an eye tracking patent that deals with Troxler fading. “One result of this phenomenon is the perceived fading of a fixated stimulus when its retinal image is made stationary on the retina, which is otherwise known as a stabilized retinal image.”“Apple provides systems, methods, and devices that provide a user of a GUI with one or more measures to counteract a perceptual fading of a cursor with respect to the GUI.”
Advantages of eye tracking on a touch device
Achieving different actions on a target: eye highlighting + touching virtual function buttons vs. touch gestures alone vs. mouse clicking on a desktop

Eye highlighting + function buttons
If you had eye control on a touch device, you could have multiple go-to, base, function buttons (could be two or three) that you can press after you highlight something with your eyes.
Example: a video
E.g. You look at a video that you’re about to watch, and then you could press function button one to open and play it, press function two to preview a thumbnail-sized highlight reel of it, and function three could be set to do whatever other command you want, like go to the comments section.
Touch alone: multiple touch gestures for different actions
Currently, if I take something like the Chrome app icon on the home screen of Android, I can tap it to open it, or long-press/hold it to move it. (There's also double tap, triple tap, and swiping that are available for use, but I think it ends there).
Desktop: different types of mouse clicking for different actions
For desktop users, left and right single-click, left and right double-click, left and right mouse drag, and the middle mouse click are some examples of mouse clicking that achieve different actions on a target once a mouse cursor is on it. More advanced mice have even more keys and buttons that can be reprogrammed, as some people need more.
Advantages of eye tracking + function buttons: speed, comfort, and less hand movement.
Single tapping function keys would probably be faster and more comfortable than repeatedly doing double clicks, double taps, long presses/holds, or multi-finger gestures, such as pinching and zooming.
Since you may only need a few activation buttons, your thumbs or fingers reach out for much fewer things. If you’re working with a larger, tablet-sized screen, which requires more hand movement to reach all the buttons and widgets, then assigning yourself to merely a few buttons and hand positions will give you even more of a speed and comfort advantage over those that don’t incorporate eye input.
E.g. There are already applications like Ultimate Dynamic Navbar, which allow you to customize the easily reachable Android Navigation Bar. Besides the three default buttons, you could add “single tap where I’m looking”, “swipe up where I’m looking” (to perhaps simulate a Page Down for reading), and a couple other buttons (although just a “single tap where I’m looking” button should allow you to do most things).

Advantages of eye tracking on a head-mounted device

This thing is gonna break if I tried to put the 300 apps on my MotoX or iPhone onto it. Why? You simply won't scroll through hundreds of apps. Your arm will get tired.
Head-mounted display with eye tracking + armband, watch, ring or another wearable, mobile device
Select your target element with eye tracking on Glass, and then tap one of the few function buttons that could be on your wrist or arm device, or other mobile device.
From pictures of smart watches like Galaxy Gear and WiMM, it looks like it has a display with room for 4 large-sized widgets, and I have read that the Pebble watch has 4 buttons. That’s acceptable because as I mentioned above, incorporating eye tracking means that you can get away with only needing to touch a few function buttons.
The amount of gestures that you can make with the Myo armband, which detects electrical activity from the muscles, might be limited by a person not being able to memorize enough of them, so it would also benefit with head mounted eye tracking.

In Brandyn White’s OpenShades Google Glass eye tracking video, he wires a Makey Makey (turns everyday objects into touchpads) to his shirt, and taps his clothes whenever he wants the select something after he’s highlighted it with his eyes.
I think that head-mounted eye tracking and another wearable device for inputting is a better way to do lengthy and rapid interactions with Google Glass instead of constantly reaching at your head, and lifting your arms for long periods of time.
If you’re using something like the Oculus Rift, there is no easy way to see your physical arms, and a physical keyboard, so only needing a minimal amount of buttons and hand positions would help again.
Glass applications written with web technology
while there are many developers excited by Glass, there are many others who look at this and see no market and a very small one that will show up in 2014
Packaged Chrome Apps, which can be written in HTML, JavaScript and CSS, are coming to Android, which Glass runs on.
Just needing one code base will make it very easy to port.
Just like the people behind the Text 2.0 framework, an open source eye tracking framework, saw the benefits of utilizing web technology with eye tracking, the people of OpenShades have also acknowledged the advantages of web tools, and developed WearScript: “WearScript is a library that allows you to execute Javascript on Glass that can interact with the underlying device. WearScript combines the power of Android development on Glass with the learning curve of a website. Go from concept to demo in a fraction of the time.”.
Howie G
Google is focusing on the Car (Internet of things - the future) over the Glass (wearables-Fad at least for a long time). The revenue potential of a google car makes glass seem like a drop of water in the ocean. And you really gave me no reason to want to wear Glass. BUT I WANT A GOOGLE CAR NOW!
i Cjay
It took you this long to figure all this out +Robert Scoble,   No really I'm not being snarky, I knew it would end this way, Google used me to push it's first gen Chromebooks.  It sucked, I said so and the Google Groups moderator kicked me out of the Chromebook Pilots program...  Google needs to stop messing with hardware and do what it does best,,,, SOFTWARE / The Web.    This is really Steve Jobs Revenge to Google, He knew if he said to Google do hardware,  the fools would take lead and fail....     even in death Steve Jobs inflicts pain..... 
I think there's room for watches and eye wear. It doesn't need to be a choice between the 2.
+Robert Scoble In a follow up to an interesting article +O'Reilly posted to G+, I wrote this post, What's The Promise of Wearable Technology? ( In it I build on O'Reilly's assertion that Glass is most likely not the end game, that it is simply a test to help Google, or Google X, better figure out what tech will be most useful and usable be users.

However, your post above resonates with me. Especially as I consider joining the Glass Explorer'r Program. I have not yet decided to accept my invite. A couple grand (Glass + two different frames) is a lot to spend on something that might end up being scrapped, or simply iterated on, in a year or two.
I think Android Wear is a far more compelling concept. I am a very tech oriented person, but have pretty much 0% interest in owning Glass, it just singles you out in public. The Moto 360 is a real game changer IMO.
Just like the apple IPhone and smartphones, Google Glass technology will change the World.
Lots of good points +Robert Scoble  - it hasn't tampered my enthusiasm for Glass but I do share your concern that Google is going to abandon this project, which would be a damn shame. 

Besides the Google'ers that were being paid to wear Glass at SXSW, did you notice other folks wearing them? Did you wear yours the whole time?
Doomed is perhaps overstated. Ahead of it's time is maybe better. 
With all due respect you're looking at it wrong. Google Glass Explorer is just that, an exploration of various aspects of wearable technology some of which will find their way into other devices in Google's "internet of things". I'm not sure I want the fully fledged stand alone device Glass is now but I sure as hell would love a heads up display for my smartphone just as the heads up display on my BMW has replaced the dashboard. This thinking appears to have informed the wear initiative and certainly is baked in to Chromecast. I just wish I could get on the developer program!
Interesting to see where this technology ends up, it has potential to be brilliant
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