back to article Google Glassholes haven't achieved 'social acceptance' - report

Google Glass and other smart specs are proving to be a flop with sceptical consumers, the analysis firm Juniper has claimed. Juniper insists the "lengthy time-to-market and lack of a key consumer use case" is to blame for the lack of interest, which we think means that no company has managed to produce enough silicon specs, …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The bell end factor

    "lengthy time-to-market and lack of a key consumer use case" is to blame for the lack of interest

    Snowden and the NSA, a newly found interest in privacy and a growing dislike of having the minutiae of our lives recorded without consent for other peoples jollies might have had a bit to do with it too. Sometimes its more about prevailing sentiment than 'use case'.

    It didn't help that wearing it made you look like a bell end either.

    1. Haku
      Big Brother

      Re: The bell end factor

      Surveillance paranoia levels will undoubtedly increase when they're indistinguishable from ordinary specs, especially as the news media will relish writing numerous "is that person sitting opposite you on the tube / in the resturant / in the high street recording you without you realising?" stories.

      At least this guy's not shy about his video recording activities:

      Surveillance Camera Man

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: The bell end factor

      Laws as well.

      Here you can't photograph or film people without consent, even on the street (unless they happen to be "in the background") and if they are on private property (business or residential), then you cannot take their picture without explicit permission.

      Plus years of living under the Stasi has left a bad taste in the mouth, when it comes to privacy.

      1. mark 63 Silver badge

        Re: The bell end factor

        and whats the difference between "consent" and "explicit permission"?

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: The bell end factor

          "Consent" is what is obtained by EULAs or by having "we will record you" stamped on a sign in a disused lavatory guarded by an aging cougar with too much makeup.

          "Explicit permission" is what most people would think of as "consent" which means "actually getting their permission in written or verbal form"

          "Enthusiastic participation" is the new California barrier that men have to meet to ensure that the women they're sleeping with aren't being raped. It hasn't really been well defined yet.

          The legal definition of "consent" shouldn't be enough for anything any more. "Explicit permission" is a far better standard.

        2. mmeier

          Re: The bell end factor

          In case of the german example above:

          If you visit the "Karnevalsumzug" (Done each year 48 days before easter sunday) or similar public events then you accept that you end up in a picture as "part of the event". That can, unlike the normal "Panoramafreiheit" include that you are singled out due to your costume of being part of one of the marching groups/display wagon crews. Normally that would not be legal, "Panoramafreiheit" says the main motive must be something else and "work / be worth photographing without the person as well"

  2. Gordan

    The real reason...

    ... that Google Glass hasn't gained huge popularity is the price tag. Yes, it's a cool gadget, but not cool enough to jump through beta program hoops and then spend $1000 on.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The real reason...

      The UI sucks as well. A touchpad and voice activation. Meaning you can't use it many places for fear of drawing attention to yourself (and getting punched).

      1. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: The real reason...

        "(and getting punched)."

        Maybe the device can detect a punch gesture and call an ambulance.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The real reason...

          "Maybe the device can detect a punch gesture and call an ambulance."

          Ah, 'clippy' would live again... "It looks like you've been violently assaulted. Would you like medical help?"

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    social acceptance?

    I'm not sure it's a matter of acceptance as much as manners.

    You can't go anywhere or do anything socially now, without about 8 people putting cameras in your face and taking photos for Facebook. You know, to prove they went to a pub like a normal person. That's quite apart from getting dazzled and not being able to see your beer for the remainder of the night, for the dying embers of flashbulbs in your peepers.

    No, I think they're not accepted because they are simply an invasion too far. When someone holds a camera / smartphone / whatever up toward your kisser, you ostensibly have the chance say 'bugger off'. You can't do that when you are being recorded by default.

    1. corestore

      Re: social acceptance?

      Where did you get 'recorded by default' from???

      I swear some people *still* think Glass is some kind of always-on recording device. Get some accurate info!

      1. VinceH

        Re: social acceptance?

        "Where did you get 'recorded by default' from???

        I swear some people *still* think Glass is some kind of always-on recording device."

        That's right - it isn't. The hardware used - and the technology available - isn't good enough for that...


      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: social acceptance?

        OK, it may not be 'always on', but you're essentially nitpicking. There are always smartphones in our faces now, and - according to that cultural milieu - if someone walked up to me wearing these glasses my *assumption* would be that I was being recorded. I'm not going to ask what they're wearing so I can research them, or indeed spend hours of my life getting 'accurate' info about devices I haven't seen in the wild yet.

        I'm going to ask them to be polite and remove their device if they want to have a conversation with me - just as I would ask someone to put their phone down, or not hold it in my face without me being cool with it.

        1. corestore

          Re: social acceptance?

          " if someone walked up to me wearing these glasses my *assumption* would be that I was being recorded."

          'Assume' makes an 'ass' of 'u' and 'me'.

          Unless you hear them say 'OK Glass, take a picture' or see their hand move to the button on the frame, and the screen light up, then you're not being recorded.

          You seem to move in a rather different 'cultural milieu' from me, and (I suspect) from most of us, if there 'are always smartphones in [your] face'!

          1. Yugguy

            Re: social acceptance?

            NO - Assumption makes an "ass" of "u" and "MPTION"!!

            Get it right at least.

            Why should I have to verify that I'm NOT being recorded by a Glasshole?

            Like so much of today's tech that we are told we simply couldn't live without, it's a solution without a problem.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: social acceptance?

        It's open source? so you just need to apply the "pervo patch" to the code and you can record constantly.

        1. corestore

          Re: social acceptance?


          It's not designed for that. The default video behaviour is a ten second clip. If you override that... you can probably get a few minutes before Glass overheats. And you'll drain the battery pretty damn quick too. It's not designed for, or capable of, continuous recording.

          The "pervo patch" is to go out and buy a spy camera concealed in a pen. Costs a tenth of what Glass costs, and no-one knows you're using it. Try again!

  4. Dave 126 Silver badge

    I'd get some for the workshop.

    ... if they were under £50.

    -Being able to refer to instruction manuals and data sheets hands free

    - Record a sequence of 'which screw came from where' during disassembly.

    -Replay the above in reverse when I put stuff together again

    -Protect my eyeballs whilst operating powertools etc.

    -Make voice notes of key measurements, to be used ion CAD later on. Or better yet, make it a 'mini-Kinect' system, to assist in 3D scanning and measurement.

    I wouldn't wear them in public though, any more than I would wear my boiler-suit down the pub.

    1. Def Silver badge

      Re: I'd get some for the workshop.

      This was the one sensible use-case I came up with:

      Overlaying measurement markers, levels, and design schematics on real-world objects.

      (At the time I was framing up and laying a shit-tonne of concrete for a patio and steps.)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'd get some for the workshop.

      Pretty sure you can just get a head camera for that.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'd get some for the workshop.

      In fact there are a lot of industrial uses for such equipment - we already have heads up displays used in the aviation industry - and the ability to record what is there and send it to others would be invaluable in insurance and industrial accident situations.

      As you say Dave, the price is the limiting factor.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: I'd get some for the workshop.


        - it highlights the location, Terminator-style, of that 6mm Allen key that is hiding amongst other tools.

        - It lets me order parts there and then, before I forget.

        -It 'draws' lines and points on surfaces - centre of face, midpoint between edges etc - for cutting and drilling.

        - It flashes when someone enters the room - often u'd can't be heard over the sound of machinery.

        1. mark 63 Silver badge

          Re: I'd get some for the workshop.

          Damn, I want it now!

          you bastards!

          I'll wait for the android version and the Lost Screw Recognition software though

    4. love not war

      Re: I'd get some for the workshop.

      Except that they're just not good enough for any of that. They're just a dumb, expensive, toy.

      Your own eyes, spatial awareness, and memory (as unreliable as any of that may be) is much better at this job.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: I'd get some for the workshop.

        Your own eyes, spatial awareness, and memory (as unreliable as any of that may be) is much better at this job.

        Well, certainly those are necessary. On the other hand, I've taken pictures of things I'm working on, particularly to help with reassembly. No shame in it.

        But I wouldn't want to try to use Glass for the job. When I'm working with tools, I'm wearing ANSI-spec safety glasses. While a head-mounted camera might sometimes be useful, I'd want it to be a separate gadget - not least because polycarbonate lenses don't last that long and I have to replace my safety glasses every year or so. And often what I'm doing isn't something I want to expose a thousand-dollar fashion accessory to (or even a hundred-dollar one).

        I'm not a fan of heads-up displays, personally, so that bit's irrelevant for me.

  5. RISC OS

    "lengthy time-to-market and lack of a key consumer use case"


    The reason they have flopped is because no one wants to give google/facebook/the nsa all their videos and photos and everything they ever do...

    ...also call me skeptical, but I'll wait a few decades for the long-term eye damage assesments to be made. Or are google going to pay my medical bills in the future when one of my eyes focuses constantly on something nearby and the other doesn't...


    Not to mention the phosphor burn-in on my right eye of the google logo that now overlaps everything I see, with or without glasses.


  6. DrXym Silver badge

    Google Glass is still a thing?

    I thought the almost universal criticism of them plus many months of silence from Google meant they had quietly shelved the idea.

  7. DropBear


    ...the Glass is the new VR then...? Each time on the brink of mainstream breakthrough, never quite achieving it though?

  8. Lionel Baden

    It can be accepted

    Just get rid of the camera, lots of people dislike having a picture taken, even more so if they find out after the fact.

    i would love to view data on the go, but cause other people discomfort .... no thanks

    1. mmeier

      Re: It can be accepted

      A data display can be had for less from some vendors. What GG and similar units could offer is augmented reality. And that needs a camera. What it does not need is a Cloud getting the pictures, local processing (say in a belt mounted unit) would be enough/better.

      See examples above. Or in a less technical version: Scale modelling. I look at the sprue, ask "find part 48b" and the system highlights it. Or superimpose the paint scheme over the kit so I can do away with cut-out masks etc. for NATO 3-color kits.

  9. Lallabalalla

    The only use-case for me would be....

    if the camera in them could overlay the display in realtime with an image corrected for my crappy vision, magnifying at x1.5 for walking around and driving, x2.5 for computer work, x3.5 for reading a book and x5 for real close-up stuff like fixing the gears on my bike. I'd pay $1,000 for that. I'd also want a bifocal option.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The only use-case for me would be....

      An adblock version would be nice for blanking billboards and posters, maybe with an audio addon to replace radio ads and tory spokespeople on the news with the sound of a marketing type/tory being waterboarded.

  10. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    10m users by 2018

    Still, that's not bad for a piece of kit which costs $1K. It's a funny old world if that's considered a failure, but I guess it depends on what one compares that against and what the expectations were.

  11. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    "At the current rate of adoption, smart spec sales will only reach 10m users by 2018."

    I don't really see the problem with that. Many companies would kill for sales like that over 3-4 years. Are we being spoiled by multi-million device sales and now calling anything less a "failure"?

  12. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    "lengthy time-to-market and lack of a key consumer use case"

    Mainly the latter as far as I'm concerned.

    Lengthy time to market? I don't care if I have to mail order something, and jump through a few hoops, or have dozens of extras laying on the store shelf. If I am motivated to get some product I'll get it.

    On the other hand, I can't think of a single actual use for Google Glasses. Are they cool? Yes (from a technological standpoint; I know fashionwise they are considered nerdy and uncool, I don't care about that.) Can I think of an actual use case? Nope! If I got some, I'd end up playing with them for a half hour or maybe a few hours, and go back to using the phone (obviously I mean if I got some for free, I wouldn't spend that kind of money on something I wouldn't use.)

  13. Roj Blake

    The Real Reason Glass will Fail

    People spend a fortune on laser surgery, or endure the hassle of contacts, or walk around half-blind to avoid wearing glasses.

    What makes Google think those same people will then shell out for their techno-specs?

  14. Jez Lawrence

    Till they can replace my mk 1 eyeball with gibson-esque Zeiss lenses complete with hud and Thermo vision... I'm not interested.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I take some comfort from the fact that I have yet to watch a single sci-fi film where normal people are wearing SpiGlass or some similarly invasive technology.

    It's normally the humanoids and robots that have such capabilities, and they usually end up having their heads ripped off or being zapped into a pile of steaming jelly on the sidewalk of some Bladerunner style futuretopia.

    It's a fitting end for nosey parkers everywhere.

  16. gregoryg1

    Tell you when I'll become a Glasshole

    As soon as I'm old enough for Alzheimer's or dementia to kick in, then I'll not only become a Glasshole, but I'll also fully embrace self driving automobiles. Imagine how great life will be, it won't matter if I can't remember what I did 15 minutes ago, Google Glass will remind me, as well as tell me who people around me are, where I am, and lead me home after I've wandered away. When I need a prescription filled, Google Glass will tell me to get in the car, then tell me to tell the car to drive me to the drug store, as well as make a side trip to the pot dispensary, and the car knows the way, so no worries.

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