It looks like the Google Glass “reset” is well under way and may include more than just hi-tech specs. Since April, Google has posted 16 different positions for the Glass division to the company’s jobs site. All told, Google has more than 20 job listings posted between January and May specifically for the Glass division.
The job listings aren’t particularly enlightening, as they’re the typical jobs you’d expect on a product development team. Google is looking for hardware engineers, an audio hardware manager, UX director, kernel developers, and an RF systems engineer.
What’s interesting about these listings is that Google defines the Glass division as a team working on “smart eyewear and other related products.”
Could that mean Glass is expanding beyond the core eyewear product or just that the division will work on accessories to complement Glass? It’s hard to know for sure. In fact, Google’s mission statement for Glass may not have changed at all. Before being spun out as its own division in January under Nest founder Tony Fadell, Glass was part of the secretive Google X labs. Perhaps Google always envisioned the Glass project to include more than just eyewear.
Why this matters: Despite intense interest in the project during its early days, Google put the brakes on Glass in January. The company stopped the Explorer program, which sold its pricey $1,500 smart specs to developers and early adopters. When the Explorer program first launched in 2013, Glass was the most interesting wearable on the market, albeit in beta form. Now, however, Android Wear and Apple Watch are leading the wearables charge with cheaper prices than Glass, and a less obtrusive look to boot. If Glass is gearing up for a future release, it will have to offer something more compelling, and better looking, than the current crop of smartwatches.
To consume or not consume
When Google halted Glass sales, critics left Glass for dead—despite the fact that many Google execs say the company isn’t giving up on the idea. But will Glass return to the consumer market or seek out success solely with enterprises?
Not many people were thrilled with the idea of walking down the street with a Borg-style implement on their heads, but Glass is finding a home in the workplace in hospitals and factories. There have also been trials with Glass as an entertainment device at live sport venues.
The enterprise market’s attraction to Glass may push Google to focus on the workplace and forget about consumers.
Then again, you don’t put the father of the iPod in charge of Glass unless you have aspirations towards the consumer market.
[via Business Insider]