Google’s first foray into wearables didn’t do as well as the company expected. Despite closing the Google Glass explorer program in January though, Eric Schmidt says the project isn’t dead yet. It’s just getting ready for users.
Nest founder Tony Fadell, took over the project earlier this year after the company decided to stop selling the first version of Google Glass. According to Schmidt the technology behind Glass is too important to scrap, so they’ve moved it out of the Google X research lab and are developing it into a standalone unit.
It is now up to the Godfather of the iPod to make the controversial glasses into a product everyone will want, even though it’s wearers have been dubbed ‘glassholes’ by the public.
Schmidt told the Wall Street Journal that Glass is still 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.
Instead of updating the product publicly, Fadell’s team will be tasked with making huge innovations behind the scenes, a la Apple’s development strategy. Previous rumors have claimed Google’s working to make the device cheaper with longer battery life, improved sound quality, and a better display.
Whether Google Glass can overcome the stigma of being unbearably dorky will likely be the biggest challenge. Schmidt says he’s not disappointed Glass hasn’t become a quick hit like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod though.
“That’s like saying the self-driving car is a disappointment because it’s not driving me around now,” he said. “These things take time.”