Google’s Chief Financial Officer Patrick Pichette wasn’t too optimistic about the future of Google Glass on today’s Google earnings call for Q4 2014. The executive took some time to highlight the project as an example of when Google is willing to take a step back and rethink something that isn’t working out, even when they’ve made a considerable investment in the tech.
“When teams aren’t able to [leap] hurdles, but we think there’s still a lot of promise, we might ask them to take a pause and take the time to reset their strategy, as we recently did in the case of Glass,” Pichette said. “[A]nd in those situations where projects don’t have the impact we hope for, we do take the tough calls, we make the decision to cancel them, and you’ve seen us do this time and time again.”
Google discontinued the Glass Explorer program back on January 19, after announcing it would shut down and be reassigned to Tony Fadell’s consumer hardware department within the company. Google is still encouraging developers to develop for the platform, and a repositioning under Fadell also doesn’t indicate a finality of its fate, but Pichette’s comments today are the most concrete statement we’ve heard on the Glass program’s outcome from a top executive, and they certainly don’t suggest an imminent consumer launch.
Glass might live on as something else, but Pichette’s statements today suggest we might not recognize the form it takes when it does eventually re-emerge.