Cracks appear to be forming within the frames of Google's Glass initiative, as app development slows and one of Google's co-founders shows up to an event Glassless.
With the last few months of the year melting off 2014, the most recent news about Google Glass has been the absence of new information about the product's progress. Reuters recently took at look at the void of Google Glass news, and then suddenly the Internet began to remember the augmented reality headsets in a collective "oh, yeah."
Google Glass is still in its testing period, a time when app development is essential. A consumer launch with a dearth of apps could spell trouble for a product that has had a hard time drawing favorable attention from the general public.
With Google still uncommitted to an official release date for Glass, app developers are starting to move onto virtual reality or retreat back to smartphones. When support for his Glass fitness app waned, Alex Foster redirected his efforts into an analytics firms that focuses on augmented realitymarketing.
"It was devastating," Foster said of losing venture support. "All of the consumer Glass startups are either completely dead or have pivoted," to enterprise products or rival wearables.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin recently told reporters he left his Glass in the car, when he showed up without it to an event in Silicon Valley.
With early adopters of Google Glass, called "Explorers," being rebranded "Glassholes" by the some in the public, the wave of angst and animosity directed at the smart glasses has made wearing them sometimes a struggle in main street's parks and cafes. However, the workplace has been a lot more accommodating of the wearables.
"These are people who can't reach into their pocket to pull out a cell phone, they can't type on a laptop," said Google Glass director Chris O'Neill. "They have every need to access information, every need to use tech to make their jobs that much more safe and productive."
Dr. Warren Wiechmann is heading up a Glass initiative at the University of California at Irvine, which is partnering with app developer Pristine on the smart glass experiment. Wiechmann says the Glass "opens things up."
Pristine is one of 10 app developers that are taking part in Google's Glass at Work initiative, which seeks to spur enterprise development for the smart glasses. With support for the Glass dying on the streets, the workplace may be the incubator that sees the product through a successful launch.
"We are completely energized and as energized as ever about the opportunity that wearables and Glass in particular represent," said O'Neill to Reuters' inquiry about Glass' health.