The head of Google X, Astro Teller, spoke during SXSW recently and explained some of the thinking behind Google Glass, how the company views the product now, and some of the messaging surrounding the product when it was still available on the market. Teller admits that, perhaps, Google didn’t properly communicate to consumers that Glass wasn’t fully finished.
That’s debatable. Google Glass was primarily marketed as an “Explorer” device — made for those who were willing to test it — and its high price tag made it out of reach to consumers. Pundits have suggested it failed since Google did ultimately make it widely available before pulling back on the project, however.
“We did things that encouraged people to think this was a finished product,” Teller explained, according to ABC. “We could have done a better job of communicating that. I’m not sorry about those bumps and scrapes.”
Teller said he supports mistakes and that “failures are cheap if you do them first,” but can be “expensive if you do them at the end.” Glass, as he sees it, was all about the learning experience.
“Many things like the battery were big obstacles,” Teller explained. “To understand how to talk about these things in the real world and figure out how new social norms could be built.” Glass did end up scaring folks, particularly with its built-in camera that could record and take pictures without others knowing.
The project is back inside of Google, now under the stewardship of Nest founder and granfather of the iPod, Tony Fadell. Google hasn’t said when a new version might hit the market, but the experience from the Google Glass Explorer Edition will no doubt play a huge role in whatever comes next.