PSA: Heat & Humidity Can Damage Google Glass Beyond Repair

Google has just encountered its worst nightmare, several users have reported a not so favorable find on Google Glass. Volunteer testers might have just found the Achilles’s heel when it comes to the pair of smart-glasses. They found that the device that makes you look like Data, does not handle heat and humidity, in fact it’s so bad under these conditions that it needs to be replaced. No other solution is currently available.

Could this issue delay Google’s efforts to launch it on time, and also, why is Glass so vulnerable?

Every single person that reported the issue wrote about a strange phenomenon: when Glass is being used during humid or hot days, or both, the fine pelicula covering the display bubbles up like hot water on the stove. Needless to say that from that moment on Glass becomes just another pair of glasses, but with a prism attached. And speaking of humidity, sweat can get inside and permanently damage it.

Apparently, Google knew about the issue and all they did was to replace the broken Glasses. I believe that Google should really consider this issue, as neat as this gadget might sound, I wouldn’t spend my money on something that would break when the air conditioning stops working.

I am going to walk you through some of the testimonies left by “Explorers” on Google Glass forums and communities:

An interesting testimony comes from Brandon Hudgeons on #Glass Explorers. Brandon took his pair of Glass to water parks and had no issue with them, but under a hot/humid atmosphere the device met its match showing signs of condensation and a display that would only show white lines.

Andrew Ferk, a man that enjoys hiking, had a lot of issues with the Glass following weeks of elevated humidity and a walk on the Appalachian. The film cover darkened in places and seemed to be peeling off around the edges. He also reported that Glass was doing random action on its own and he had to constantly reboot it.

Taylor Hunt uploaded a pic with a very scorched prism, the result of Glass usage during hot days.

Joseph Stirt is a guy that managed to prove to Google twice that the device needs insolation, sweat rendered Glass unusable.

Other users corroborate the issues above. Some testimonies report that temperatures over 32 degrees Celsius (90o F) made the film bubble up and the Lens to condensate. Amongst them is Jeffrey Powers an ‘Explorer’ the man that used duct tape to proof the prism.

After so many people reporting the same issue, Google has started to look into the matter. The first thing they did is to replace the faulty ones with new ones, it’s a nice gesture, but it does not solve the core problem – it cannot take the heat. And you can’t just go around getting a new Glass every day or two. On the other hand, affected people were impressed on how fast they received a new one and are praising Google services.

At this point there is no official fix for the problem and Google did play it safe by stating that they are still in the testing phase. They should pick up the pace though, because the 2014 launching is just around the corner.

How could this issue be solved? Well, many would say: ‘Don’t use it when its hot and humid.’ For me that’s just another way to workaround the problem. What happens in regions where the regular weather is hot and humid, people should just wear it in the house?

My suggestion, and I think I am not alone on this one, is to waterproof the device. This is a piece of technology you wear on your face, its exposed not only to the weather’s temper but also to human sweat. It only makes sense to insulate it. What I don’t see is how this managed to slip from the original design. Didn’t it occur to anybody? Maybe they were just too focused on the general aspect and the functionality, but revenue numbers require smart decisions.

If they redo the design to fit a proofing, 2014 seems a bit too soon. They should work their miracles to get it done on time, because if they ship Glass like this, it might just prove to be a market non-success story.

What is your solution to this problem? Would you still purchase a Google Glass knowing it will eventually fail you?

Special thanks to:

For more information and pictures feel free to read the original posts from the Google Glass Explorers mentioned above.

  • geekazine

    It wasn’t duct tape on the Prism. I put packaging tape over the power button. It doesn’t fix the problem but I am hoping I don’t have to send another pair back.

  • Brian Lingam

    Bummmmmmmmer. Have to send mine back because of blistering/bubbling film at the end of the display. Making the display dim & cloudy. I’ve had it 4 months. I paid $1500 for this?!?! Uh… not happy, and NOT in a recommending frame of mind right now.

  • Gordon Sanders

    just now sending my second pair back. The first pair would not charge, and now this one is bubbling. Am also not very happy. Especially since I live in Hong Kong and we run dehumidifiers nonstop.

  • hotrod

    I too am on my second pair. My first pair stopped taking a charge and now I’m dealing with one that blisters on the end of the prism. The bubbling/blistering on the prism causes the view to be cloudy and hard to see. I’m very disappointed especially since it seems that I have to take extra steps to get the process of my second return in order. The first return of Google Glass was simple, Google provided me with a shipping box, labels and all that I needed to make a speedy return. But now, all I get is a label (PDF file), that must be printed, I need to acquire a box, affix the label to the box, and then either make an schedule an appointment or go to a nearby UPS. This time, I’m to do more. I have to print a label and get a box.
    This is the second time that I’ve been disappointed with my glass. Google shouldn’t have me making extra steps. The second time there should be a representative coming to my home with an apology, a new pair or my money back..