I am on the record as believing Google Glass will completely change multiple industries and public services for the better. But I also think it’s going to fail miserably as a consumer product. Google’s latest patent has done absolutely nothing to shake that impression: Google wants to make Google Hipster Glasses. Seriously.
To be fair, currently this is little more than a patent. But it seems unlikely that it won’t be hitting stores at some point, as it’s designed for prescription lenses.
Essentially, these are quite literally Google Glasses: All the functionality and tools are in the frames of the glasses, and you can put in your own lenses and the like. And that’s actually a good thing in the sense that if you need to use these for, say, your job, you’ll be able to.
I can see two problems with this. First, well, come on, look at those things. Can you think of anybody who could wear those and not look like a complete ass doing so?
Secondly, David Sedaris said it best: Fashion ages badly but eyeglasses in particular are singled out for special punishment. The frames presumably hold the wiring needed to connect the two modules, so there’s probably a limit to what Google can do.
So, essentially, Google has designed a product that will both mark you as a dweeb and to keep you from actually interacting with humans as much as possible. Just… don’t install your self-driving tech in windowless vans, OK, guys?