Google Glass is a $1,500 toy predicated on the absence of self-awareness—and so it's no surprise its early power users have been men like Robert Scoble, a roof-raising mascot of privacy antagonism. But now, even the man who once boasted of wearing his face computer in the shower is jumping ship.
In a new Forbes outline of Google's PR woes, Jeff Bercovici mentions Scoble's recent change of heart, which he shared with his 616,000 Facebook followers:
Last night before Skrillex at Coachella came on two guys were talking next to me. One said "I want to get away from the Google Glass guys."
I turn around and there are two guys wearing Glass.
Google does have a problem here.
I haven't worn mine at all this weekend.
What is going on here in a world where I am carrying around a camera and EVERYONE uses their phones or a GoPro but Glass feels freaky and weird?
Google has launched this product poorly, is what.
But wearable technology needs a different set of skills than Google has. What? Empathy.
Put aside the image of Robert Scoble at a Skrillex show. For perhaps the first time, the man felt embarrassed because of the gadget he wears on his dome. The backlash became too much for even those deepest in the distortion field. And he's exactly right: Google has a fundamental inability to understand human emotions, insecurities, and nuances in general—and it's enough to dissuade even the most fatuous fanboy. "I sporadically wear it," Scoble told me of his Glass-use post-Coachella. That's a giant dip in early-adopter confidence.
So, if a man—whose job it is to cheerlead awkward, unpopular technology—decides it's too much to bear, when does the rest of the surveillance chic crowd come around?