Timing, as they say, is everything. The first Google Glass prototype was introduced in the spring of 2013. Less than two years later, Google announced it would suspend manufacturing on the wearable. But, like a Phoenix, Google Glass may be rising again.
On November 24, 2015, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Google a patent for “an electronic device includes a display and a band configured to be worn on the head of the user.” Illustrations included with the patent show a snakelike wearable that is flexible and wraps around a user’s head. This design would be in contrast to the original Google Glass prototype, which affixed the display to a pair of eyeglasses.
While the device is somewhat more discreet than the original, you still look like you have a computer sticking out of your head, which was one of the biggest hurdles for Glass achieving widespread adoption. That, and the perception of being a “Glasshole.” Early adopters of Google Glass were criticized for everything from being narcs who slyly recorded everything to being smug jerks who looked down on non-Glass wearers as luddites.
It’s tough to say whether a change in form factor would do anything to change those perceptions. Also, there’s no guarantee that the device that Google received a patent for will ever come to fruition. The application was filed back in 2012, long before the first version was released to the public.