While Google’s plans with Glass have never been overly transparent (haha), the wearable’s path has become a lot clearer with a Wall Street Journal report published today. According to Google, Tony Fadell’s job is simple: make Glass ready for consumption.
Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt explained that Fadell’s been charged with making Glass “ready for users.”
“It [Glass] is a big and very fundamental platform for Google. WE ended the Explorer program and the press conflated this into us canceling the whole project, which isn’t true. Google is about taking risks and there’s nothing about adjusting Glass that suggests we’re ending it.”
Indeed, when Google shuttered its Explorer program for Google Glass in January, it seemed like it could’ve been a bad sign for the face computer that everyone loves to hate. After all, despite the buzz, Glass users had become something of an easy punchline—a bunch of unfashionable “Glassholes” that were easily mocked, and rightfully so. With a $1,500 price tag, dwindling app support, and no final consumer version in sight, it seemed like Glass might simply classified as a failed experiment.
On the other hand, Fadell’s long history in product design and development certainly makes him the right guy for the job in terms of changing Glass from a punchline to a product. Nest is a thermostat, but it’s beautifully designed, and an extremely desirable consumer product. And Fadell is largely responsible for designing the iPod, the device after which generations of Apple products have been modeled. It should have been apparent from the outset—and to me, it was—that Google was relying on Fadell’s design track record to make Glass Google’s next big hit.
Even still, most of what we knew of Fadell’s tasks were based on speculation and anonymous insider reports. With Schmidt’s confirmation of this fact, the thought that we’ll get a consumer ready version of Glass before too long is pretty exciting.
There are only a few questions left to answer: what will it look like? When will we get it? And how much will it cost?
[Source: Wall Street Journal]