Fashion executive Ivy Ross announced on Google+ that starting Monday, May 19, she will be in charge of Google Glass. The news arrives after Google opened the retail doors for anyone with $1,500 to spend on the augmented reality specs in the United States. The project is still in Explorer mode, or as Google puts it, "a more open beta."
Ross' extensive experience stretches across a number of well-known brands including Calvin Klein (President of men's accessories), Coach Leatherware (VP of Design and Development), Old Navy (EVP of Design & Development), Mattel (SVP of Worldwide Product Design), Bausch & Lomb (VP of Design) and Gap (EVP of Marketing). Her most recent gig was at art.com where she served as the company's Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).
"With your help, I look forward to answering the seemingly simple, but truly audacious questions Glass poses: Can technology be something that frees us up and keeps us in the moment, rather than taking us out of it? Can it help us look up and out at the world around us, and the people who share it with us?" she writes on Google+.
"I have spent my career at the intersection of design and marketing, trying to answer questions like this in different ways, for different products," she adds. "But Glass is especially cool, as no one has really tried to answer them with a product like this before. That's our job, Explorers! I'm just getting started on Glass, but, because of all of you, and your thoughtful and smart feedback, I feel like I have an incredible head start. And I look forward to learning even more from you, and experiencing Glass together."
Based on her experience, Ross will likely find ways to make Google Glass less of a niche gadget for nerds with money and more of a consumer need. Remember that there was a time when smartphones were new, and many wondered why anyone would carry one when there's a perfectly capable phone in the house or in booths lining the street. Now you see phones in back pockets, in purses or glued to someone's ear in the supermarket.
Google needs Ross as the Glass specs begin to infiltrate the human population. Hopefully, she'll find a way to make Glass more socially acceptable.