It’s a little too early to call Google Glass a complete failure, but developers are reportedly losing interest. That could have big consequences for Google, as a gadget without an app ecosystem as its backbone is a hard sell for anyone.
One big challenge Google Glass faces is the fact that many of us are reluctant to go full cyborg in public. It seems Google is trying to address that problem, but not very creatively: A newly unearthed Google patent published this week by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office shows that the side-mounted face computer might be evolving a little too slowly to win over new, more mainstream adopters anytime soon.
U.S. patent D718,765 shows a new update to Google Glass that looks an awful lot like the debut version of Google Glass that came out in April 2013.
There are a few minor differences. The plastic housing that hangs near the back end of the ear has been eliminated, and all of the electronic guts have been crammed into the front end. If you need a refresher, this is what the bulkier older housing looked like mounted on a pair of eyeglasses:
Patents don’t typically tend to tell us much, and it is important not to read too into them—this one, for example, was originally filed back in January. In this case, though, it looks like we’re still a long way from smart glasses that actually look anything like regular glasses.