Feeds

Google kills sickly health, energy projects

Doctor Evil won't see you now

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Google is killing its Health and PowerMeter products due to a lack of interest from would-be customers.

The Mountain View Chocolate Factory said that the two projects "didn't catch on the way we would have hoped". As a result, Google Health's life support will be switched off on 1 January 2012, with the data being available for download for a further year.

Google PowerMeter will meet its maker sooner, with the axe falling on that product on 16 September 2011.

"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," said Google in a blog post.

"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."

PowerMeter, which was billed as a home-electricity-consumption cloud service, only launched in the UK in October 2009. The idea behind the product was that users of certain home 'leccy meters would read them via Google's servers, rather than using the online services that come with the meters.

That strategy clearly didn't work, however.

As for Google Health, the company finally took the wraps off the product for US customers in May 2008, having talked about it for a good two years beforehand.

The service was built for creepily storing and sharing personal health records, but there was a major flaw: The records were not protected by the US Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

So once the data was located on Google servers, the laws that guarded individual medical records that are handled by doctors no longer applied.

The fact that the data remained static without any "social" elements involved also helped write Google Health's death warrant, claimed Adam Bosworth, who created the product. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft refuses to nip 'Windows 9' unzip lip slip
Look at the shiny Windows 8.1, why can't you people talk about 8.1, sobs an exec somewhere
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
Linux Foundation says many Linux admins and engineers are certifiable
Floats exam program to help IT employers lock up talent
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?