back to article Unwearable tech: Five ways IT garb's gone HORRIBLY WRONG

The Chocolate Factory has the technology for its Google Glass locked down in a patent but it has to collaborate with fashion retailer Warby Parker to make its artificial eye tech look cool, says the New York Times. The augmented reality spectacles are supposed to change the world, but currently they look too dorky to catch on …

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  1. David Glasgow
    Paris Hilton

    You forgot

    Vivid technology's haptic sex suit which was rejected by the FDA because the safety of wearers could not be assured "under moist conditions".

    http://www.virtualworldlets.net/Shop/ProductsDisplay/VRInterface.php?ID=3

  2. ratfox Silver badge
    Happy

    OMG it never worked before, why still try?

    I for one find the Google Glass less obtrusive than many designer glasses.

    Then again, I'm the type of guy who has always despised people who wear sunglasses after sundown, so I guess it's a matter of taste.

    1. LarsG
      Meh

      Many

      Many glasses wearers have been trying to get away from wearing them, look at the popularity of laser eye surgery and even contact lenses.

      Now if Google can adapt it to contact lenses then they are onto a winner. If not, the invention will again be a postscript in history just like the other attempts.

      1. Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik

        Re: Many

        As one of the many glasses wearers I quite like my glasses and wouldn't trade them in for contacts. What I would like is to have an AR and a camera recording stuff through it. But WITHOUT some online service hooked into it.

      2. Turtle

        @LarsG: A good idea

        "Many glasses wearers have been trying to get away from wearing them, look at the popularity of laser eye surgery and even contact lenses."

        You've stumbled on to a good idea here but have failed to recognize it. The "tech" part of these google glasses should just be implanted in the skull of anyone who would want to wear them; it's a pretty sure bet that there's plenty of room in there...

      3. Stevey
        Terminator

        Re: Many

        I give you: "A Fully Integrated RF-Powered Contact Lens With a Single Element Display'

        http://wireless.ee.washington.edu/papers/TBIOCAS_jyb_Dec2010.pdf

        1. Jedit
          Alert

          "A Fully Integrated RF-Powered Contact Lens With a Single Element Display'"

          Is there something wrong with me that my first reaction to seeing that was to try and figure out what the humourous acronym was?

          1. Simon Harris Silver badge
            Happy

            @ Jedit "FIRFPCLWSED"

            You are not alone... I was trying to work out if it was an amusing acronym before I got to the end of the name!

            Maybe it it... with the correct rotor settings on an Enigma machine!

            1. Simon Harris Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: @ me "FIRFPCLWSED"

              'Maybe it it... with the correct rotor settings on an Enigma machine!' ???

              Obviously I have the wrong settings on my Enigma machine today! - oops

          2. Syed

            Re: "A Fully Integrated RF-Powered Contact Lens With a Single Element Display'"

            Actual Reality Sensory Environment!

            (Thanks to ACE Magazine c.1992? for that one.)

      4. Semaj
        Go

        Re: Many

        "Many glasses wearers have been trying to get away from wearing them, look at the popularity of laser eye surgery and even contact lenses"

        Those are only popular with people who never wore their glasses at school as a child because they wanted to be like all the other little lambs. I.e. were terrified of being labelled a nerd.

        So if Google whack them on a pair of chunky D&Gs (which look like utter crap anyway) and they get some vapid celeb to wear them then those same people will buy them in droves.

        Personally I wont bother because I just don't see the point.

        1. Curtis

          Re: Many

          "Those are only popular with people who never wore their glasses at school as a child because they wanted to be like all the other little lambs. I.e. were terrified of being labelled a nerd."

          Or they're tired of looking at the rest of the world like it's on a giant TV. Or they're tired of feeling like their glasses are putting a glass wall between them and others.

          1. Rukario
            Boffin

            Re: Many

            Or, after years of wearing glasses, they (like I) tried contact lenses and (re-)discovered peripheral vision.

    2. Richard Ball

      Re: OMG it never worked before, why still try?

      They need to get away from the Wonky Look.

      Fair enough the thing is asymmetric, but the guy wearing them in that image seems typical of many, many amusing and geeky traits and is doing a good job of achieving a jaunty angle.

      Perhaps this would be solved by a big wodge of elastoplast or araldite on one of the hinges?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: OMG it never worked before, why still try?

      I'm quite happy with my glasses; the border collie I live with, is seemingly less keen (2 pairs in about 6 months).

      1. Silverburn
        FAIL

        Re: OMG it never worked before, why still try?

        As glasses wearers will have probably spotted, the Google glasses will never fly in their current form - witness the jaunty angle in the press clip - too much weight on one side. They will be an enormous pain in the ass until both sides balance, and the glasses sit there without user intervention.

        But this raises another problem...adding some counter weight to the other side, will add weight to the glasses; in summer, this will manifest in "sweaty nose slippage", requiring them to be pushed up every 5 minutes. Annoying.

        Then there's the sheer ugliness factor, which will prevent you wearing them in public for fear for constant ridicule.

        No...methinks not. Wake me up when neural laces are available on the NHS.

        1. Psyx
          Joke

          "Then there's the sheer ugliness factor..."

          Yeah, bigger, tinted lenses would help hide that.

          Oh, you mean the *glasses*....

        2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

          Re: OMG it never worked before, why still try?

          @Silverburn Google glasses "will be an enormous pain in the ass until both sides balance".

          If you find they give you trouble down there, either they weigh a lot more than I thought, or you're wearing them wrong.

    4. Psyx
      Thumb Up

      Re: OMG it never worked before, why still try?

      "I'm the type of guy who has always despised people who wear sunglasses after sundown, so I guess it's a matter of taste."

      Sunglasses indoors/at night are one of those things that in theory should be cool, but in reality just screams "trying too hard". A bit like Google-Specs.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: OMG it never worked before, why still try?

        I got somethin' to say to you and you better listen -

        i'm gonna tell ya how to be cool in one easy lesson ..go!

        sunglasses after dark

        aaah, they're so sharp

        and you'll be cool

        and the squares will drool...

        it's real simple...

        sunglasses after dark

        aaah, it's so sharp

        listen to this ...

        went out last saturday night

        got myself in a night fight

        everybody got clubbed including me

        'cause there wasn't one of those cats could see

        see..we had on S.A.D.

        that's right... I was hangin' around on the street

        and this great big guy ran right into me

        I could hardly make him out , everything was so dim..

        but then I seen what was wrong with him..

        he was wearin' sunglasses after dark...

        sunglasses after dark..

        aaah, you're so sharp

        sunglasses after dark..

        it's so simple...

        (where am I by the way?)

    5. Annihilator
      Thumb Up

      Re: OMG it never worked before, why still try?

      "Then again, I'm the type of guy who has always despised people who wear sunglasses after sundown, so I guess it's a matter of taste."

      For those who often have their picture taken, you can understand the appeal. Otherwise, bright flashes in the face in darkened room = headlines the next day of "Joe Celebrity drunk!" featuring picture with glazed, half-open, dilated eyes.

      For everyone else, they're just pretending that the same applies to them and I share your aversion.

    6. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Sunglasses

      I am now considering them at night due to all the car LED lighting. Those give me a headache.

      There is a certain Peugeot model convertable with tin roof I cannot even follow without being on main beam due to very bright and flickering.

      As I told my wife when everyone has those bright flickery lights I'm either giving up driving or trying sunglasses.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Happy

        Re; MJI Re: Sunglasses

        "......There is a certain Peugeot model...." Given the notoriously poor Peugeot electronics build quality, surely that is only a problem for a few miles?

  3. lvm

    Actually I am quite happy with my cellphone whatch

    Probably wouldn't bought it myself as too geeky, but I got it as a present a couple of years ago and use it ever since. It suits me well - I am horribly absent-minded, and this is the phone you cannot leave behind, and I am quite sure that twitter is for twits, so the absence of passable keyboard is not an issue at all.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    SPOT Watch

    Was the SPOT ahead of its time? or just pointless without anything to interact with? (I know you could spend thousands to enable your home so you could 'turn on a kettle')

    now I am wearing a pebble, and its interactions with my smartphone are quite good, I don't want it to make tea for me.

  5. jake Silver badge

    What about wearable tech?

    100% Cotton clothing sans static producing bits ... and high-carbon conductive shoe soles.

    But then I'm in the trenches, and not a gullible consumer ;-)

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some of the problem is...

    ...you get big companies who over build trying to do to much.

    They have forgotten K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple Stupid) such as : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OX8VwRUPsM

    A very simple design.

  7. scot stockwell

    Aumented reality is teh way forward

    but (and its a bit but) AdBlock needs to start working on a plugin Now!

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Aumented reality is teh way forward

      The only augmented reality I'll be wearing is my 'punch the twat harder' from robo-armour. I'm 6'5 and 21 stone and dickheads with phones/pads cant see me when they're walking so what the fuck it will be like when they're all looking for food-free calories through lampposts.

      Mind you a well organised flash-mob on a bridge over the M25 might just increase the average IQ and rid the world of a couple of redundant layers of management!

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Aumented reality is teh way forward

      It's a bit complicated, might not be free...

    3. jake Silver badge

      @scot (was: Re: Aumented reality is teh way forward)

      I think my AI parser broke on this one ... Ta :-)

  8. Dave 126 Silver badge

    One wearable product that enjoyed modest success- snowboarding jackets with iPod pouch, sleeve mounted controls suitable for gloves, and integrated headphone cables.

    Why stakeholders in Android can't sort out a remote control / dock standard I don't know.

    1. Anonymous Coward 15

      iPod on while doing dangerous sports

      More or less dangerous than iPod on while crossing the road?

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: iPod on while doing dangerous sports

        Dunno, I haven't used headphones whilst on the piste, but snowboarding takes you in zig tags, and generally you are visually aware of your surroundings. Unlike being on a road, the moving objects that are likely to hit you make the same sort of noise as you yourself are making, and often your ears are muffled by a hood, hat or helmet anyway.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As if people who need to wear glasses needed some company to make them appear geekier.

    Such glasses are just another nerd toy. They won't catch on in the mainstream for many reasons, much like the smartphone didn't catch on until Apple dispensed with the stylus.

    Glasses are cumbersome at best, people spend a fortune trying to get rid of glasses by having laser eye surgery. So why would anyone choose to wear them to get some information of very little interest (before walking into a lampost).

    Google comes out with some right tosh at times, stuff that they think is useful but will just cause accidents. Their self driving cars will kill someone eventually and it won't be long before someone reading a twitter update on their glasses gets flattened by a car (would be ironic if it was one of their self driving cars).

    Technology needs to be limited to situations where it won't cause death or injury to the user or others around them.

    1. Anonymous Coward 101

      "Their self driving cars will kill someone eventually"

      I have no doubt they will, but the question is really how many they will kill compared to humans. I am fascinated by the real prospect that driverless cars will be a commercial reality before 2020.

    2. Law
      Facepalm

      "much like the smartphone didn't catch on until Apple dispensed with the stylus"

      The feature Apple that sold their iPhone was a comparatively slick UI (and to a large degree existing brand appeal)... it definitely was not them "dispensing" the stylus, as many smartphones before it didn't have them either.

      "Glasses are cumbersome at best, people spend a fortune trying to get rid of glasses by having laser eye surgery"

      A small percentage of people hate their glasses, and spend money on getting surgery... the vast majority of people who need glasses will happily wear glasses (or just hate the idea of eye surgery enough to keep the glasses).

      "Technology needs to be limited to situations where it won't cause death or injury to the user or others around them."

      I assume you don't drive cars, take trains, take flights, use computers, or even electricity, or eat food (created by technology!)... or do anything really.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        glasses

        A big advantage on a motorbike in the summer.

        I didn't get flies in my eyes!

    3. Grikath Silver badge
      Stop

      good one....

      "Technology needs to be limited to situations where it won't cause death or injury to the user or others around them."

      Then we should have stopped at using pointy rocks all those millennia ago?

      1. James Hughes 1

        Re: good one....

        The google car, I believe, has a better miles/accident ratio than most humans. >200k road miles without an accident is pretty good.

    4. Psyx
      FAIL

      "Technology needs to be limited to situations where it won't cause death or injury to the user or others around them."

      Bollocks. Good technology with fail-safe is far less prone to mistakes than humans.

      We're not living in the 19th Century.

  10. Psyx
    Boffin

    OH NOESSS!

    I have a device in my pocket that easily accesses the Interwebz and all of my stuffz, but it's too faaaaaarrrrr and too much effort to get out.

    Best I put something stupid on my face to save myself the effort of having to reach into my pocket.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Devil

    They need some kind of fold down action to show it's off. Who wants to be in a bar where the guy next to you is uploading everything live to the cloud or blogging from the urinals. It's not as if they haven't put people in jail for comments they've made that have been recorded.

    A joke about terrorism/airports/Iraq in a bar could have your home being searched and your computers confiscated while you're still on the first round. GGs will be a mixture of the autistically anti social and retired busy bodies recording you leaving the recycling bin 16 inches from the kerb or leaving your car to warm up on the driveway.

  12. John70
    Joke

    Streetview

    As a feature the glasses will come with a Streetview overlay so you know where you are

    1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Streetview

      "......the glasses will come with a Streetview overlay so you know where you are." LOL! That suggests the Apple equivalent will be happily sending Appletards off into the wilderness for years to come!

  13. cnapan
    Pint

    I see where this is going.

    One day, not too long from now, life will become a perpetual struggle as I fight the desire to laugh openly at people who look like members of the Borg Collective.

    Thanks a lot Google.

  14. Monty Burns

    All the comments....

    from people who've not actually used the Google Glass. Oddly, none of the complaints here have been mentioned by the review on another famous tech website (I'm sure i'm not allowed to link). This reviewer used them, didn't look like a geek and so I'll trust his review as I have no others to go on, other than random guess-work and speculative comments.

    And not everyone wants to avoid glasses, some people actually like wearing them and it can help with appearance (No, i don't have glasses or contacts).

    1. Psyx
      WTF?

      Re: All the comments....

      "This reviewer used them, didn't look like a geek"

      *splutter*

      No. No, of course not. They looked perfectly normal and cool [inside their own head].

      Sorry mate, but those things look like shit at the moment. You'd look less dorky with a Rimmer-style 'H' on the forehead.

      1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Psyx Re: All the comments....

        "......You'd look less dorky with a Rimmer-style 'H' on the forehead." Thought made me smile at the idea of the early-adopters walking the streets with a big red G stuck to their foreheads. Of course, the Apple version would require a big A, in white, natch.

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Psyx All the comments....

          Letters on foreheads

          I want AntandDec to be fitted with these - still no idea which one is which and more importantly don't care.

          1. Psyx
            Thumb Up

            Re: Psyx All the comments....

            "I want AntandDec to be fitted with these - still no idea which one"

            The only way that I can tell is because Ant is the one who always stands on the left as you look at them.

            Always.

            See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/180-degree_rule

            1. MJI Silver badge

              Re: Psyx All the comments....

              I hate you - that article mentioned those two twin morons with stupid hair! I had managed to wipe them from my mind!

  15. Pet Peeve
    Facepalm

    I will probably buy a set of these if they figure out how to balance them and make them minimally intrusive. I like glasses, and don't mind wearing them at all.

    What I'm wondering is if they can have prescription lenses, or if I have to finally get around to gettling LASIK first.

    1. Monty Burns

      You're OK

      You need to look up the current Explorer edition which allows lenses to be attached, although at the moment just Google built ones I believe. Google are working on a "framework" (Don't know if pun intended or not) that manufacturers can adapt too, so the hope is you can use the lenses of your choice.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wearable motherboards

    Surely a wearable motherboard would have, erm, extra double-bus expansion at the front.

    Perhaps the image is of a early beta daughter-board :-)

    Also, would this give rise to a new MILF acronym? Motherboards I Like to ...Fry

  17. graeme leggett

    Error?

    Bionic vision pioneer Steve Mann Austin - fixed that for you

  18. Alan Brown Silver badge

    There's a reason that external tech wearers are dubbed "gargoyles" in Gibson's stories...

  19. Minophis
    WTF?

    Wearable tech hmmmmmm.

    I found myself a bit torn when it comes to Google Glass. Part of me thinks it's really cool and part of me thinks that the only thing it can do that my phone can't is make people point and laugh at me. I don't think I would want to go out wearing it until it had been around long enough to be considered normal, which might take a while.

    The main problem with wearable tech (apart from making you look like a weirdo) is that it seems to be a solution in search of a problem. I can't think of a single practical use that I would have for it.

    1. Minophis

      Wearable tech hmmmmmm. 2

      If anyone is interested in makeing their own wearable tech Adafruit make a cool line of in house designed Arduino compatable wearbale devices that can be sewn together with conductive thread. They call it Flora.

      http://www.adafruit.com/products/659

      Much cooler if you make it yourself :-)

    2. Psyx
      Thumb Up

      Re: Wearable tech hmmmmmm.

      They won't laugh if you're running a Smartgun link...

  20. Gordan

    Before Google Glass There Was Eyetop

    Some 10 years ago or so, there was a stylish looking device called "Eyetop". It was essentially a pair of moderately stylish sunglasses with a built in screen you could see out of a corner of your eye. It had composite analogue AV input. It was fairly unobtrusive, but if you wanted to use it with a computer you need a VGA->TV adapter and a small laptop (back then the choice was probably a Sony Vaio PCG-U1 or U3). Google have essentially done the same thing with next to no improvements, other than bundling an Android computer into it (no difficult feat these days), and priced it outrageously high for what it is considering the technology has hardly changed.

  21. Longrod_von_Hugendong
    FAIL

    If you go in to McDonalds

    Then you need to be beaten up anyway for being a chav / ned.

  22. Tony Paulazzo
    Gimp

    @ $1500 a pop, any nerd out in the real world wearing Google Goggles will be mugged within 15 minutes of leaving their safe zone.

    Unfortunately, crap dammit! I still want a pair.

  23. Champ

    I'm one of those horribly smug people with a Pebble watch. This is the way wearable computing will become mainstream.

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