The Return of the Glassholes

Matthew G. Saroff
2 min readDec 15, 2021

Remember Google Glass? It was a set of spectacles that could allow you to view a computer display, and tape people without their knowledge or consent, hence the, “Glassholes,” appellation.

They were quickly banned from bars and the like, because people didn’t want to be video taped while drunk or on the prowl for companionship.

Well, they’re back!!

Google was one of the early leaders in the first wave of modern augmented reality (AR) research and devices, but the company has appeared to cool to AR in recent years even as Apple and Facebook have invested heavily in it. But it looks like that trend will soon be reversed.

On LinkedIn, operating system engineering director Mark Lucovsky announced that he has joined Google. He previously headed up mixed reality operating system work for Meta, and before that he was one of the key architects of Windows NT at Microsoft. “My role is to lead the Operating System team for Augmented Reality at Google,” he wrote.


Other job listings say new hires will be working on an “innovative AR device.” And one specifies that Google is “focused on making immersive computing accessible to billions of people through mobile devices.”

The roles are largely in the United States, but some are located in Waterloo, Ontario — the HQ of Canadian smart glasses maker North, which Google acquired in 2020.

Google has offered APIs and tools to help AR developers make experiences for Android, and the company still offers the once-hyped Google Glass headset (which essentially runs Android) to enterprise customers. But these listings suggest that Google isn’t just dabbling anymore.

After killing hundreds of useful products, Google, or I guess “Alphabet” has decided to bring back one of its worst products.