Google does a lot of things very, very well: intuitive Web searches, glitch-free e-mail, insanely accurate online maps, stable mobile operating systems, the list goes on. But even the greatest heroes have their Achilles heel (Achilles, for one). Despite its incredible success, in the minds of most Americans, Google will always be a big nerd.
Google Glass was supposed to be Google's revolutionary entry into the world of wearable technology. Introduced in 2013 as a limited beta release, Google Glass was hailed as the first mass-produced smart glasses, letting users search and browse the Web, get directions, take photos and video, all with a tap of the finger or a simple voice command.
But from the start, something was off about Glass. Even with the exclusivity of the beta release – early "Glass Explorers" paid $1,500 for first dibs – and the appearance of Google Glass on fashion runways, something about the smart specs was patently uncool [source: Metz].
It wasn't just that they looked geeky; it was the reactions they inspired in strangers. People don't like the idea that the guy in the bar with the weird glasses might be videotaping them. And why is he talking to himself and twitching his head side to side? Google Glass looked like it was trying too hard to be cool, and failing, which is almost too sad to watch.
Google quietly abandoned Glass in November 2014, though the technology may well turn up in other products.