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Why Ivy Ross Got Picked to Make Google Glass Succeed

A September video explains why Google hopes someone with experience in jewelry design and fashion can turn Google Glass into a product.

  • January 16, 2015

Google said Thursday that it has formed a new team to create the next version of its head-worn wearable computer, Google Glass. That takes Glass out of Google X, Google’s home for quirky research, though it keeps former design and marketing executive Ivy Ross in charge of making the often-derided face computer successful.

Ross came to Google in May and already led Glass under Google X, and today’s announcement said nothing about her approach to making Glass a success. But a video of the head of Google X, Astro Teller, at MIT Technology Review’s annual EmTech conference last September offers some clues.

When our Editor in Chief Jason Pontin asked Teller why Ross was the right person to take Glass through its next stage of development, he pointed to her background in the eyewear, fashion, and retail businesses, as well as in jewelry and industrial design.

“She is trained to be sensitive to getting technology out of the way, using technology, rather than thinking technology is a natural benefit in and of itself,” said Teller.

You can see video of the full interview here. Pontin’s question and Teller’s subsequent answer start at about 15:37.

Ross will have some help from someone else with experience creating easy to use technology. She will report to Tony Fadell, the co-founder of smart home gadget maker Nest Labs, bought by Google last year. Fadell previously invented the iPod at Apple and helped create the iPhone.

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