Google Inc. is set to retire two of its products that never really caught on the way the tech giant thought they would.
The products, Google Health and Google PowerMeter, will both be gone by next year. PowerMeter is actually going sooner than that on September 16 of this year, while Google Health will be retired on the first of next year. Google Health provides a personal health records service while PowerMeter monitors web-based energy use.
Both were based on the idea that with more and better information, people can make smarter choices, whether in regard to managing personal health and wellness, or saving money and conserving energy at home. While they didn't scale as we had hoped, we believe they did highlight the importance of access to information in areas where it's traditionally been difficult, Aaron Brown, senior product manager at Google Health and Bill Weihl, Google's green energy czar, said in a joint blog.
On Google Health, Brown said the service has not had the broad impact that they hoped it would. Mainly, the company has had a problem getting widespread adoption for the service. They did get tech-savvy people on board as well as their caregivers, but it never spread beyond that. Google said they have made it easy for people to retrieve their data from the service.
Back when it was introduced in 2008, Google's then chief executive Eric Schmidt said health information was the most important type of search.
Meanwhile, PowerMeter suffered from a similarly slow adoption rate. The company launched it originally as a Google.org project to raise awareness about the importance of giving people access to data surrounding their energy usage. It hoped to get usage derived from people's increasing interest energy conservation. That simply never happened.
By helping people make more informed decisions through greater access to more information, we believe Google Health and PowerMeter have been trailblazers in their respective categories. Ultimately though, we want to satisfy the most pressing needs for the greatest number of people. In the case of these two products, our inability to scale has led us to focus our priorities elsewhere, it says on the blog.