Yes, Google Glass is “ugly and clunky and ridiculously expensive for what it does” and yes, it’s worrisome that Google employees rarely wear glass anymore. And that’s why Google is rocking this project.
For my book I researched why Google Wave failed (you can read the full case study on UXMag). Underneath the interaction design mess was a failure to follow their own process for research and development: not beta testing with customers, not having a trial period in Labs, not running the project with the expertise at headquarters, etc. (Google employees also stopped using Wave at some point, and then started mocking it).
A great way to illustrate all the things Google did wrong with Wave is to contrast it with Glass, another innovation project. In short, Wave got the process wrong, and Glass is getting the process right. Google is patiently following a research and development program, creating new technology, getting real-world feedback, and not releasing a product to the public before it’s ready. I talk about
failingexperimenting fast, and that’s what I see here.
Don’t be fooled by how Google is charging early adopters for Glass; it’s just a mechanism to filter out anyone who isn’t dedicated to the experiment. The real product hasn’t been launched yet, and my money is on the eventual project looking and acting very different than what we see today. Google is following a process that allows them to make mistakes, learn, and avoid failure.