[Engadget] Bill Maris, the man behind Google Ventures, on the present challenges and future potential of Glass~Reviews~Evaluation

Engadget post time: April 25, 2013 at 09:20PM

How Google Ventures and the Glass Collective are taking Glass to the next level

DNP Bill Maris, managing director of Google Ventures, on the future of Glass and why he isn't wearing it

“The initial versions of Glass were just Sergey [Brin]’s Oakleys with a phone taped to them,” Bill Maris, managing partner of Google Ventures, told me in a noisy cafe in Midtown Manhattan. Given his position and our topic of conversation — Google’s Project Glass — he was conspicuous for wearing no eyewear whatsoever. “[Sergey’s prototype] was not very compelling.” You’d forgive him for being a bit skeptical back then about what the company’s leadership was hoping would be the next big thing — or, at least, a thing worthy of the time and money required to iterate from those humble beginnings to the sleek device we now know and covet.

So, then, how did we get from those initial doubts to the launching of the Glass Collective, dedicating millions of dollars to finding, funding and fostering innovative applications (not just of the software variety) for Google’s new wearable? Maris spoke of Glass project lead Steve Lee and a later prototype that took photos every few seconds. “Imagine if you had this for your entire life. You could ask: ‘What did I do 10 years ago today?'” That was compelling enough for Maris to commit to the foundation of the Collective, helping Google move the project beyond a single product and into the all-important realm of the platform. This is a platform, he believes, that could change our lives over the next 10 years just as smartphones have over the past decade.

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