Is Google Glass Losing Steam? Units Show Up On Ebay

On Friday, Reuters painted a grim picture of the future of Google Glass, sparked by the appearance of Google co-founder Sergey Brin who attended the recent red-carpet event. Brin had purposely left his Google Glass specs in the car, which was seen as an unusual move given that he typically has the headset on in public appearances.

Does this mean his excitement for Google Glass has dimmed? Not necessarily. He's undoubtedly well aware that many consumers feel threatened by the AR headset and simply chose not to make people feel uneasy during the event. In fact, the company is fired up and excited about what Google Glass brings to consumers.

"We are as committed as ever to a consumer launch. That is going to take time and we are not going to launch this product until it's absolutely ready," said Chris O'Neill, Glass Head of Business Operations.

But some Glass developers appear to be not quite as enthusiastic. Reuters reports that developers are losing interest because the customers – the Explorer Edition wearers to be more precise – are few in number, and because the hardware has its limitations. The report states that nine out of 16 developers that contacted Reuters have abandoned their Glass consumer projects while three others have moved to business apps.

Reuters pointed out that a number of important individuals have left the project, such as lead developer Babak Parviz. A Glass funding consortium has also deleted its website and now points the address to Google's main Glass website. Even more, Glass headsets have appeared on eBay, selling for around half the current price of $1,500.

Because Google Glass has yet to provide a consumer release date, some developers feel that the search engine giant still considers Glass as "an experiment." Previously, Google was aiming to release Glass by the end of the year, but now Glass has been pushed back into 2015, possibly sometime during the summer.

"It's not a big enough platform to play on seriously," said Matthew Milan, founder of software firm Normative Design, in speaking with Reuters.

The big social problem Google Glass has stems from the built-in camera, which could silently film anyone without consent. For this reason, establishments are beginning to ban Glass, such as movie theaters and bars; this is not unexpected, but it's unfortunate nonetheless. Explorer wearers have been unkindly dubbed as "Glassholes." Both the label and the public restrictions may be pushing Explorer owners to give up and sell their units.

Currently, Google is selling the Glass Explorer Edition on Google Play for $1,500, and you can purchase Glass-specific frames, shades and earbuds. Previously, Google stated that Explorer wearers cannot sell their Glass units, as it's against the terms of service. However, Google won't deactivate Explorer devices that are re-sold to other individuals.

What's your take on Google Glass? Do you want to purchase a pair once Glass goes retail? Is society making a big fuss over nothing in regards to the camera and privacy?

Follow Kevin Parrish @exfileme. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

  • razor512
    This should shed some light on why people are selling it.

    It is overpriced and people feel that it is not worth its price tag.

    Furthermore, it is truly overpriced and not worth what they are charging
  • gaaah
    Yeah, the "emperor's new clothes effect" is wearing off. People are realizing, hey, the display sucks.
  • Glass User
    I use mine everyday and its as amazing as ever...gone are the days of being disconnected when your tablet's battery dies! Almost a new app for Glass every week or so! Can't wait to see what's next!
  • actsai
    I would consider it no more and of course necessary to be an alternate form of Android Wear with Android G or similar, and similar price point too.
  • doomtomb
    this thing is so stupid thank god its flopping
  • Merry_Blind
    "...gone are the days of being disconnected when your tablet's battery dies!"

    That sounds awful for some reasons...
  • js_72
    Google glass(hole) is a joke. Why in world would walk around looking like a complete douchbag?
  • ib2007
    Like one old wise man said "LOL"
  • danwat1234
    ROFL those cardboard 'Google One Piece Cardboard 3d Glasses' on Ebay where it basically holds your smart phone up to your eyes
  • SvRommelvS
    I think people are losing enthusiasm for a product that never seems to want to move from BETA stage. Excuse me, "Explorer program." We want the full release!