back to article Google Glass DIED from TOO MUCH ATTENTION, Captain Moonshot admits

Speaking at the South by Southwest music and tech conference in Austin, Texas, Google X boss Astro Teller - who glories in the title Captain of Moonshots - said the smart glasses project could have benefited from a bit of restraint. "We allowed and sometimes even encouraged too much attention for the program," Teller was …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    steering wheel

    "Teller noted other ventures, such as Google's foray into assisted-driving cars, that were axed. That project, he said, was abandoned because merely assisting the user was not safe enough, and entirely autonomous vehicles were more up to the Chocolate Factory's standard."

    Does that mean all Google autonomous vehicles will get rid of the steering wheel and become the derided "clown car"? Or does it mean that the current autonomous vehicle project that Google X has visibly promoted was preceded by a 75-90% driverless program that was killed before it could be made public?

  2. DropBear

    Oh myyyyy....

    merely assisting the user was not safe enough

    Yes, well, I'm eagerly looking forward to the first exclusively autonomous motorcycle that has its handlebars welded in straight, no throttle, for hanging-on purposes only (because it's too dangerous to let the monkey in the saddle have ANY control) and how many they'll actually manage to sell. Mine is the leather one, with the Judas Priest tape in the pocket -->

    1. fandom

      Re: Oh myyyyy....

      But of course it's the other monkeys that are dangerous, not you.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Oh myyyyy....

        Seems to be sheep not monkeys - according a mate of mine who kebabbed one in the peak district at 120. He still insist it was the sheeps fault!

        Always seems to come a a surprise to motorcyclists that there are other things on the road. Its a shame as when I was a kid you could ride round the country lanes for a whole tank full of petrol and not see a soul. Well a few sheep - but I couldn't do a ton on the cub!

        1. Yugguy

          Re: Oh myyyyy....

          The Macc Lads concurr:

      2. Captain Hogwash

        @fandom Re: Oh myyyyy....

        Er, whoosh!

  3. zebthecat

    He missed the main problem... that glass was a stupid idea in the first place and no amount of positive PR was ever going to change that,

    1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      Re: He missed the main problem...

      Nah, it's not a stupid idea but they clearly either didn't think things through enough, or didn't care about the consequences, prior to such a widespread release. And they didn't do enough to curtail undesirable use after the fact.

      Context is key, and there are many use cases for this kind of AR. Just the majority don't involve being sat in a bar, or acting like a selfish thoughtless arrogant twat. Or both.

    2. Indolent Wretch

      Re: He missed the main problem...

      I just don't understand this luddism.

      A long term goal of a pair of augmented reality, net enabled glasses that appear no different from normal glasses or sunglasses.

      That can guide/aid/direct/instruct/inform/entertain me wherever I am.

      And are positioned for the ultimate ease of use.

      In what way is that a stupid idea?

      1. TheOtherHobbes

        Re: He missed the main problem...

        It wasn't a stupid idea. It was a badly executed idea.

        AR glasses are fine. AR glasses with a camera that record you without your permission are less fine.

        Glass was Google's Newton moment. The idea is maybe 10-15 years ahead of the available technology.

        And unlike Newton, there are a lot of privacy issues and other legalities to consider.

        1. DainB Bronze badge

          Re: He missed the main problem...

          And you're missing it as well, camera on Glass was loathed only because people could easily recognize it as a camera pointed towards them. Give it 5 years and there will be cameras in frames you would never ever be able to see and what would you have to do then ? Ban all glasses altogether, as well as anything that can hide a camera ?

          1. Eddy Ito

            Re: He missed the main problem...

            "... because people could easily recognize it as a camera pointed towards them. Give it 5 years..."

            Hiding cameras isn't a problem. A quick look on the web shows several that are either designed as concealed or could be so quite simply. Camera glasses, pens, key fob, watch, hat, shirt button, etc. all for about $25. No, the camera wasn't likely the problem it was more likely to be the glasshole operator.

            1. Tom 7 Silver badge

              Re: He missed the main problem...

              The glasshole operator didnt help but the main problem is being aware you might be being filmed - most people aren't vain enough to want it and most people find it uncomfortable - and will continue to do so.

              Humans interactions have evolved over eons and knowing you are being filmed changes the whole thing out of all proportion.

              1. IsJustabloke

                Re: He missed the main problem...

                Knowing / not knowing.. don't really care. I don't enjoy being filmed as I walk along my high street and I wouldn't enjoy being filmed by the person I'm talking to. Hiding the camera so that its not so easy to know the person I'm talking to is filming me doesn't make it ok; it makes it even more creepy.

      2. Lusty

        Re: He missed the main problem...

        "In what way is that a stupid idea?"

        It's not a stupid idea, they just should have finished them before release. This is why the Newton failed and the iPad succeeded, and why in all likelihood Apple would be first to market with usable glasses. Apple are no longer in a hurry to be first to market with anything and it's paying off for them. We can only hope that Google realise this soon as they can make some good stuff when they try. Their search for instance was far from first to market, but they won because they did it right. Advirtising and mapping are other areas where they were late to market with a winning finished product. Glass is an example, probably along with their watches where they rushed to be first and pretty much failed.

      3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: He missed the main problem...

        In what way is that a stupid idea?

        Perhaps not so much stupid as tiresome.

        God forbid people use their hands, senses, minds, and - I'm going out on a limb here - interactions with others to "guide/aid/direct/instruct/inform/entertain".

        I'll be happy to adopt augmented reality once I've exhausted the possibilities of the regular sort.

  4. Elfo74

    Step by step

    If what killed Google Glass was mainly privacy issues, they would probably enjoy better success if the initial model did not include a camera.

    Once the "cameraless" model was mainstream, then add the camera model option.

    I know, I know... without a camera it would only serve as a HUD enabling one to view youtube cat vids while walking... but hey! that's what people want!

    1. petur

      Re: Step by step

      Indeed, most - if not all - objections from people against it were related to the camera. As a concept it still makes sense, so I hope it returns. OTOH, I started wearing lenses because I found glasses annoying...

      Also makes me wonder why the competitors are not facing the same objections - I suppose they also contain camera's and microphones. But they do not look like they should be used in public.

    2. John Sturdy

      Re: Step by step

      A cameraless version would have been of interest to me, for a map display while walking in an unfamiliar city in weather cold enough to put me off using a touchscreen phone (the touchscreen-compatible gloves I tried weren't warm enough for all conditions).

      Having a camera on the device would put me off though, because people's response to that would damage normal human interaction, e.g. creep them out, piss them off, etc; if I want people to react this way, I'm sure I can do it without augmentation (e.g. talking about politics), but if I don't want them to react this way, I can't do that with augmentation. I don't want to predetermine that by wearing such a device.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Step by step

        >competitors... not look like they should be used in public.

        The Sony ones look like sports or workshop protective goggles. A workshop isn't a social place like a bar, and a street - where a cyclist might use them for navigation or recording a careless driver - isn't considered a private place.

        It was the case that Japanese camera phones had a 'shutter' noise that couldn't be disabled - a response to fears that they would be used for taking photos without the subject's knowledge. This is the country where school girls can rent space on their thighs for advertising messages.

        Sony recalled some camcorders quite a few years ago - the issue was a 'low light' mode that used infra-red, making clothes appear see-through. Sony fixed the 'issue', but people being people managed to undo the 'fix' to restore the functionality on subsequent models, and resold them over the internet.

    3. Old Handle

      Re: Step by step

      I don't know about the general public, but for myself the fact that it was from Google didn't help matters. If Samsung, or some little company I'd never heard of had come out with a similar product it wouldn't have seemed so creepy.

  5. Six_Degrees

    "Google put a lot of marketing behind the Glass project"

    No amount of marketing is going to help a product that's fixed in the public mind as equivalent to a turd.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >No amount of marketing is going to help...

      Wait a year or two and expect to see the all new very hip iGlass launched...

      1. fandom

        Mandatory xkcd reference

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Second, optional, XKCD reference

  6. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    Captain of Moonshots?

    I guess he doesn't have a Facebook account then:

    Is Google+ less picky?

    1. launcap Silver badge

      Re: Captain of Moonshots?

      > Is Google+ less picky?

      Don't be silly - he works^w is employed at Google so (of course) their rules don't apply to him,

  7. Grikath

    "..the Google headset was immediately beset by early adopters who leveraged the headset for their own creepy ends."

    Been to Bong!-U have you? How the poison creeps...

    Icon, because it's the only cure.

  8. Howard Hanek

    Astro Tellar

    Her parents, the world famous Astrologist team of Penn and Teller never succeeded in their life long quest for compensation from that other, much more successful team of a similar name. Hence her move into technology.

  9. Stevie


    " The term "Glassholes" was coined to refer to early adopters of the headset, and eventually adopted by Google itself."

    The article linked under the word "Google" makes no mention of Google doing that. The word appears only once as the expressed opinion of the author of the piece.

    What's the clever little play on words that describes an author who lures someone to click on a reference that provides no actual supporting material whatsoever? There must be one.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bah!

      Master baiter?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So... Segway 2.0?

    I got nothin'

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