Welcome to the new biweekly section of SamaGame. The leitmotiv of these articles will be to expand the perspective of the general theme of the blog a little further, which is none other than Apple and its ecosystem, and above all, our beloved iPad. It seems as if the rest of the world has not had its own history and influence in the technological world, and obviously, it has not. Apple has undoubtedly been an engine that has indisputably driven the industry, but we must also remind everyone of those who, in the past or currently, have also given part of their originality or inventiveness to the modern world in which we live. This section will appear at 9:41 am pacific time as our section «One More Jobs» (click here to find out why).

Of the many success stories that have occurred in the digital technology industry, Google is one of those inspiring or terrifying stories, depending on who you ask. I like to say that they are frontier stories, because like many of these human drama stories, in the end it is not clear how everything ends. And Google, now Alphabet, has always felt comfortable playing “I’ll catch you here and I’ll kill you here”, with a meteoric rise, spectacular consolidation and, at present, a monopoly of incalculable dimensions for any mortal who has nothing. to envy those days of Standard Oil, with the difference that they traffic in data, not oil. But for the case, it is the same.

There are many stories that a company like this has produced, but today we are going to focus on a specific one that has been one of the most scandalous cases of hype in recent years in the technological world: the “Gafas Google”. These digital glasses, which were heralded as modernity’s greatest success story, are currently being burned, ridiculed and spited by an industry and users who felt very disappointed with something that promised a lot. Then we will analyze the possible causes of what has happened and why, but they can be summarized in one, in my opinion: smoke was sold. That, in the industry in which we operate in blogs like SamaGame, is unfortunately common. Microsoft has been a master of overt deception for decades, which has not, however, prevented it from being the great leader in the PC world for the last thirty years. We are going to delve into the history of a little device that has only been with us for three years but that in that short space of time has managed to be from an emulator of the fame of the iPod or the iPhone to something that nobody wants near.

On April 4, 2012, the engineers working on the project open an account at Google+ (A separate article should be dedicated to the latter) by publicly initiating the project and encouraging the public to generate ideas around the concept of smart glasses. Up to here all correct. Google bosses, especially sergey brinLet’s say that he is the “showman” of the duet that completes Larry PageIn the following days, along with other company executives, he began to appear everywhere with a prototype of the glasses: dinners, various events, and even parachuted with one on to give it even more publicity. Of course, that man knows how to sell. In June, after the I/O, they begin to attend requests for pre-reservations of the gadget, at no less than 1,500 US dollars, a scandalously high price (which even in the wettest dreams of Apple executives would never have occurred to them). ask) which was simply one of the triggers for the invention not to reach more. It is understandable that a device just released on the market costs a lot to produce and sell, but taking into account that in itself it does not carry a third of the technology of an iPod Touch, that price was considered excessive in the eyes of the whole world. . Still, there are those who bought it.

It could be said that there is much more story to tell, but… The truth is that no. Naturally, these three years have meant a trickle of news that didn’t seem to be going anywhere. From messages from Brin indicating to the developers that things were going to be very complicated (they already smelled it then), to the multiple “crises”, especially with the traffic authorities, which have resulted in fines for the “Explorers” ( some of them withdrawn, yes) and other types of conflicts. The fact that Sergey himself made a demonstration driving through Montana taking photos every 10 seconds could have been the trigger for half the world to begin to wonder if it was something convenient, not only for driving, but in general to ensure people’s privacy. But life goes on, and in October, Time magazine names Google Glass the best invention of 2012.

But something seems to be wrong. In 2013, the so-called “explorers”, a select group of people who should have experienced the device, have not yet received their devices. At the beginning of the year, Google expands the testing program by inviting the general public on Twitter with the hashtag #ifihadglass (if I had glasses), to ask what users would do if they could have a copy of the device on their heads. In March, they insisted on asking people and getting pre-reservation offers for a product that they only… They had in their offices. Two months later they announced to the winners of the #ifihadglass event that they will receive their devices in the following weeks. And finally it happens, in April. The problem is that those who made the pre-reservation last June after the I/O… They didn’t receive it until then. It stands to reason that many would, rightly, be quite angry. But eventually it happens, and some “Explorers” like Robert Scoble take photos in “thick” situations, like in the shower. This drew the attention of many people to the “improper” uses that could be made of this device, possibly very questionable. A “teardown” of the glasses is carried out, concluding that they were something “extremely simple”. Also, the last change of 1 GB to 2 GB of RAM that the original Explorers will not be able to enjoy has turned out to be a jug of cold water.

The scarcity of apps also begins to make the product very unattractive to users, and it doesn’t seem to make sense to pay so much for a product that doesn’t seem to be that impressive and also doesn’t seem to be of much use beyond taking photos and viewing some information. in the virtual lens. They try to go viral as much as possible by showing surgical operations carried out with glasses and seasoned journalists showing the “Arab Springs” in all its splendor… The project has ups and downs. The UK traffic department bans glasses despite complaints from some “Explorer” and on TV, some presenters say they only put glasses on camera because they’ve been asked to. Users complain that the device suffers a lot in high temperatures and humidity, and although Google is quick to change parts, it is clear that the system has to improve: you can not be changing parts of a device of $1,500 every year . The thing is accentuated because the Google team affirms that Europe will probably not be part of the glasses program “for years”, which leaves out an important audience. As a curious note, in December 2013 the MyGlass app for iOS appeared.

Since then, the impact of the gadget has been decreasing to the point that no one talks about it anymore. Except for the fact that they have changed the name again: from “Project Glass” it changed to “Google Glass” and is now “Project Aura”. Right now, Tony Fadell (yes, the one from Nesta company that Google bought in its day and which is called one of the “ipod parents) is in charge of the project, and has assured that it will redesign it until it is “perfect”. This can mean anything, but it gives the impression that the invention is still in too “alpha” a stage to be sellable, or that they are not very convinced of the result. In any case, it is clear that in the end, things have gradually gone awry and that what was promised as one of the great inventions of the 21st century, in the end it may simply be a small anecdote that may never come out of it. Google Labs. In fact, it is not known if it will remain at Google, become one more element of the Alphabet conglomerate or remain dependent on Nest. That is to say, the project as such is in a state of inoperability.

What can we expect from Google Glass or Project Aura? We do not know for sure. His Twitter account (@googleglass) posts a couple of images a month and doesn’t have much more activity than the occasional comment. There is also no relevant news in Google’s own media and the rest of the news media have only recently echoed the name change. At the last I/O, Android fans were frankly disappointed by the lack of news about it. At this point, we must consider the options that Google has and which are not promising: either leave the project abandoned (which if things don’t change much, it will probably end up happening), have a final version ready at a lower cost to 500 dollars (for more, the majority of the public will not be willing to acquire the product) or it ends up becoming something else, but what would already be mere speculation. As a climax, mention the fact that it seems that we are facing one of those attempts to overcome the future that Microsoft likes so much and that Apple hates. When Apple shows something, it is something real, functional and that can be bought finished in a few months at the most. But the rest of the companies insist on announcing infinite, expensive and not very serious projects that, in the end, usually come to nothing. See Microsoft’s Natal, the forerunner of Kinect, which has been a complete flop in sales. Who knows how Google’s futuristic project will end up… Maybe it will stay in the auto-car garage, another “invention” that has been in the bedroom for more than 10 years…