Episode #77

The Hottest Thing From Google Is Over Before It Began

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014


This post is by New Tech City host Manoush Zomorodi. 

I went to the South by Southwest Interactive festival this year with a hypothesis: My guess was that we might see the world's largest gathering of people wearing Google Glass. It's been over a year since the company began its invite-only trial program, and I figured these early adopters could come together and change the whole dynamic of the conference! Well...I was dead wrong. Not that many people were wearing them, even at an event about Google Glass. So, why the reluctance? This week on New Tech City, we explore why one of the most hyped technologies out there is facing a backlash even before it hits the market. 

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Comments [5]

Felix from New York

I coined the term "glasshole" after having Google Glass shoved at me repeatedly via Google Plus. Maybe that's one reason why I dialed back my google plus use, to just enough to let me comment on youtube. That's right, I was the person who came up with that. Okay, there were probably others, I'm sure. The early ads, which showed Glass being used like a smartphone for everyday tasks, really made the whole thing seem stupid and terrifying.

Some of this isn't going to change. Anybody who tries to have a conversation with me with a computer strapped to their face, and a camera pointed at me, will always be a glasshole. I honestly hope we're not all going to go around like this all the time.

But the technology isn't going away, and it's going to have a lot of practical applications, especially for countless professions. Google's EXPLORER program, in which users are being tapped to discover the device's applications, is exactly the right thing to do.

Mar. 26 2014 12:31 PM
Frederick Ingram from Carolinas

Great story! Although I have been playing with computers since the Vic-20, I am not an entitled techie; in fact part of my interest in Project Glass is trying to dip my toe in some kind of future career-relevant something ... not sure what yet.

I see my fellow Google Glass Explorers as akin to early aviation barnstormers or hot rodders of the 1950s.

I broke mine but they can be hella fun, no lie!

Mar. 18 2014 12:05 PM

An open reply to Manoush Zomorodi of New Tech City

I listened to the March 12th edition of New Tech City about Google Glass, and felt compelled to reply.

I wanted to start with the final question first. You openly pondered if you should get Google Glass. I, too, faced that question just over a year ago before I ever tried one on. Once I did, however, I was glad I did… and when I could buy one last May I lept at the opportunity. Glass is transformative - until you use it, not just try it on, you wonder why you would. Once you begin to use it, you realize that you’re using it in a different way than anything else.

But more directly - why is a technology reporter even wondering why they shouldn’t try out new technology? Particularly for a show that claims to put “heart and the human experience into tech coverage” - and a device that seeks to do the same thing. The episode is filled with very familiar, oft repeated, and quite inaccurate perceptions of Glass… and I would hope that a technology reporter would want to actually understand Glass instead of just repeating those inaccuracies.


So now that you’ve been to Austin - let me invite you to New York City. I invite you to check out the activities of the Glass Explorers NYC group on - they hold regular meetings to discuss how Glass can be used by everyone, not just techies. I invite you to contact me, and I will be happy to elaborate on any of these points and many more impressions and misimpressions about Glass.

And I invite you to actually get Glass, use it, and see how it is the most personal of any personal computing device you’ve used to date. Like thousands of others, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

(Originally posted, and being discussed, at

Mar. 17 2014 07:32 PM
Ned Boyajian from New York City

Nice piece, Manoush. Glass may not win consumers over as easily as smartphones did, for all the reasons you point out. But as you suggest later in the segment, its practical uses in industry and other areas may compensate for that.

For example, enterprise software integrated with Glass (or devices like it) could eventually help behind the scenes with warehouse operations, baggage handling - all sorts of areas where visual inputs or hands-free data processing could make work easier and faster. And while police may find it useful, so might protesters and political activists.

The privacy and other issues you raise won’t be solved overnight, but if the public comes to see Glass being used in practical, essentially benign ways - possibly becoming an everyday tool in many workplaces - that could pave the way to greater acceptance.

Mar. 12 2014 03:45 PM
Denis from New York

I've had Glass since last summer - I should say that our team at work has had them since then. From the beginning, I was very reluctant to wear them for the reasons cited in this piece. However, about a month ago, I decided that the only way to truly understand the technology would be to immerse myself in it. I started wearing them regularly, and while it does attract attention (even here in NYC!), people have been very curious and open-minded. Many, many people come up to me to talk with me about them. I am a "celebridork" - I think "glasshole" applies specifically to people who misuse Glass. I do not wear them while engaging in one on one conversation or while sharing a meal. Basically, when I would not use a smartphone, I don't use Glass.

Mar. 12 2014 10:33 AM

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