Glass has a perception problem, and a new segment on The Daily Show skewering the wearable probably isn’t going to help any on that front. The divisive head-worn computer came in for some tough treatment from the comedy news show’s Jason Jones, who not only questioned whether the spate of anti-Glass sentiment some have experienced over the past year actually counts as geek bullying, but tried to make his own version.
Unsurprisingly, Jones’ DIY glass wasn’t quite as converged in its construction as the Glass team itself managed, effectively hanging a phone, a large camera, and a couple of other gadgets from a frame.
As roasts of Glass go, it’s certainly funny in places, but more than that it demonstrates the challenges Google – and other wearables companies – face in trying to achieve broad acceptance. The story continues to get stuck around issues of privacy, with fears that Glass wearers are in fact surreptitiously filming or photographing people.
Google could arguably have challenged that perception, by focusing on the things Glass offers other than the camera: ease of access to search and communications, the serendipity of timely or unprompted information based on location and context, and the simple usefulness of having notifications discretely fed into the wearer’s awareness. Unfortunately, the company has effectively left most of that to its “Glass Explorers” to communicate.
Of course, an entertainment show is probably not the right place to do that, though while Glass is expected to feature at Google I/O later this month – potentially even with details on the consumer version – a tech show targeting keen developers and industry-aware press might not be the best place either.
Glass’ public image needs a makeover, and designer frames from Diane von Furstenberg aren’t enough.