On May 19, Ivy Ross will be joining Google as the new public face of its Glass product. Her experience in marketing and design might help paint a better picture for the smart eyewear that is still leaving question marks in consumer’s minds.
Ross’ resumé is like a laundry list of fashion brands, including Calvin Klein, Swatch, Coach, Mattel, and Gap, just to name a few. In these companies, she has held various positions related to design and marketing, but she sees herself as always trying to answer the same question that she now faces with Google Glass: can this product be turned into something that immerses users in the world rather than abstract us from it.
As a mobile device, Google Glass does seem to be the perfect answer to that. Users need not to keep their heads down and faces glued to smartphone or tablet screens. They can look up, look forward, and enjoy the view, unobstructed except for a sheet of glass, and, of course, a tiny display in one corner. However, Glass also brings its own set of questions, doubts, and fears, which isn’t exactly surprising considering how novel and disruptive a piece of technology it is.
Ivy Ross has a tough challenge ahead of her. She needs to be able to dispel those worries and disbelief about the usefulness, practicality, safety, and not to mention commercial viability of Google Glass. As someone who has dabbled more on the consumer-facing aspects of product design and less on the “geeky” parts, hers might just be the face, voice, and hand that the public might want to see to convince them that Google Glass is something any person would want to own just like they would a smartphone, tablet, or even a smartwatch.