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Google Glass is Coming Back ‘Soon.’ Will Take 2 Prove Less Disastrous?

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(Reuters)

Google Glass is coming back, and Google has a fashionable new partner working on the much-loathed tech specs.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, the CEO of Italian eyewear maker Luxottica Massimo Vian revealed that his company is working with Google on a new version of Google Glass. Vian also said that the second attempt at Google Glass “will be out soon.”

Luxottica is the eyewear company behind several stylish glasses brands, including Ray-Ban and Oakley. It previously teamed with Google to produce a series of frames for the tech giant’s smart glasses in an attempt to give them a more stylish design.

Glass was put on hold earlier this year, presumably after a spate of bad press surrounding both the looks of the device and its recording capabilities. Google abruptly ended its Glass Explorer program and moved the project to a standalone unit headed by former Nest founder Tony Fadell; Fadell joined Google when it bought the smart thermostat maker last year for $3.2 billion.

Google’s original version of Glass had a troubled time with the company. The Explorer program was essentially a public beta that allowed developers, and eventually anyone with an extra $1,500 sitting around, to buy the eyewear.

But the look of Glass was a major turn-off for most people, including many in the tech community. Using Glass was also a bit of a hassle, as it offered a relatively short battery life and predominantly served as a means to get app notifications.

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(Google)

The term “glasshole” was coined to describe people who wore Glass without recognizing that using the eyewear in public or while carrying on conversations with others could be considered rude.

There were also several security and personal space issues that arose due to the fact that Glass featured a camera that allowed wearers to surreptitiously take photos or videos of people without the subject knowing.

Businesses ranging from bars to movie theaters began banning Glass, and states started crafting legislation to make it illegal to wear the headgear while driving for fear of it becoming a distraction to drivers.

Luxottica’s CEO didn’t tell The Wall Street Journal when the next version of Glass would be available, though he did say that Google was working on a third version of the eyewear, adding, “There are some second thoughts on how to interpret version 3.”

Whether Glass will eventually be a successful commercial product enough is still very much up in the air.

Apple’s Tim Cook previously told The New Yorker that he always knew Glass “would flop.”

Can Luxottica make Google’s high-tech eyewear something people actually want to wear? We’ll find out soon enough.

via: The Wall Street Journal