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Google X Leader Astro Teller Says "Wearables Is Tough"

How is Google Glass doing today? It's "an iterative question," said Teller.

Astro Teller, Google’s so-called “Captain of Moonshots” and leader of the company’s “X” division, wore a turquoise Google Glass device on his face when he appeared at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit on Wednesday.

Astro Teller
Astro Teller

But his enthusiasm about the beleaguered project — which has failed to become the cool new must-have gadget — was more measured than his facial endorsement.

Asked how Google Glass is doing, and when it will be released more broadly, Teller said, “Wearables is tough.”

“There’s no point having something worn on your body — that’s a big ask — unless you can give people something they really couldn’t get otherwise,” Teller said. “It has to be qualitatively better for it to be worn.”

He described Glass as “an iterative question of what are the things that make sense near the seat of your senses.”

The wrong way to look at new technology is to think about how it replaces old technology, Teller said. The right way is to get something new out there and let it find its own “best highest purpose.”

“I think we’ll see, not only with Glass, but the watch wearables, with the contact lens, that each of these things have their own best purpose, but it will take more on our part and society’s part to figure out what that is.”

But as for when Glass would be put out to the public to help it find that purpose? No answer.

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