Keep Google Glass going, for industries' sake: experts

By: Wes Kington
19 January, 2015

Whilst Google has officially called curtains from 19 January for the head-mounted Glass to the public, the tech giant has dismissed suggestions the innovation is all but dead and buried.

Google announced last Thursday that although the Explorer program for Glass would conclude, new possibilities would be explored and iterations conceived of in the not-too-distant future.

Since its release in 2013 the device has struggled to find a niche in the mainstream market. Somewhat nerdy appearance aside, the device notably caused dismay in the public sphere because of its ability to inconspicuously capture pictures, audio and video. In some cases, wearers were even assaulted.

Impact on industry

Businesses, however, have been notably more receptive. It's an overall response that might have caught Google "off guard", according to Det Ansinn, founder of next-gen mobile computing application firm BrickSimple.

"The future of Glass is that it becomes a tool for how you do work," Ansinn said.

Although hospitals and factories are not normally the places Google actively markets itself, doctors and engineers have been among those who have warmed to the device most.

Ansinn and other tech experts have suggested Glass will continue to have a strong future in the corporate world, with specialists like maintenance engineers and surgeons being able to benefit from a hands-free computer putting information directly in front of them, along with the ability to film exactly what they see.

Tentative short-term future

Ian Campbell, CEO of Nucleus Research said in order for the company to keep momentum going for the product it will be crucial for them to maintain developers' interest over the coming months. He said some may think twice about developing software, especially if the product becomes too niche.

"(App developers) may do the mental math and realise the economics don't make sense," Campbell said.

Reports have suggested Google could be pushing for a product re-launch by the latter half of the year, moving development from Google's X research lab into a stand-alone unit.

"Google, by doing this, confirms that Glass isn't dead," said Kyle Samani, CEO of Glass health app developer Pristine.

Google said it will continue marketing the product to businesses for work applications.

Google Glass How-to: Getting Started