Big changes are happening behind the scenes at Google as the company prepares to release its smart glasses. Adrian Wong, the lead electrical engineer in Google’s Glass division, has left the company to go to work at Oculus. Meanwhile, experienced marketer Ivy Ross has come on board from Art.com to steer the department.
According to a post on TechCrunch, Wong has updated his LinkedIn profile to reflect his new job at Oculus, which he lists as “Building the Metaverse.” That’s a reference to the 90s sci-fi novel Snow Crash, which envisioned the Internet’s future as a more social, virtual-reality style online world. Now that Facebook is in the process of acquiring Oculus, the Metaverse stands a better chance of actually happening – and if Wong is on the case, his years of experience on Google Glass should mean he’ll be bringing tons of expertise to the table.
But just as Wong is out the door to usher in the virtual world of our dreams, Google has brought in someone new to head up the division. According to yet another post on TechCrunch, Ivy Ross is the new boss in town, having most recently acted as Chief Marketing Officer at Art.com. The post points out that she has experience at high profile, consumer-oriented companies like Mattel, the Gap, Disney, Coach, and Old Navy. As such, those positions could easily be translated into helping make Glass a product that people may actually want to buy.
That’s actually a pretty important job when you think about it. As good of a job as Google has done generating hype about Glass, the device is still not quite a must-have. Its high price tag (at least for the current crop of beta-testing “Explorers”) is one major stumbling block, while concerns over both fashion and privacy could potentially keep Glass from achieving widespread, mainstream acceptance. The arrival of Ross could change all that if she can work her mainstream mojo in her new position at Google.