There has been a lot of digital ink spilled on the possible earth shuttering impact of Google Glass. What’s not to get excited about? After all, this device would let you collect information from your surroundings and fit it to the internet. What all gets exciting is that when this data that you source locally is processed through Cloud based applications, you can essentially get feedback and information that you could use to alter your reality. In other words, your decisions are informed by the internet and its possible that every waking moment where youre using wireless device, you’re interacting with the internet’s vast data resources, so you can take action locally. There is a lot of excitement about this. There’s obviously going to be a lot of money thrown at this exciting new technology.
A lot of people are comparing it to when the Apple Iphone launched in 2007. It’s only been 6 years since the Apple Iphone launch but it has really changed the technology landscape. There are thousands of companies raising billions of dollars coming up with all sorts of products just to service this brave new world that Apple pioneered. Of course, Apple is no longer in control of it because a lot of the mobile market is fast moving towards Android, but the point is that, it only takes one major change in technology for the whole landscape to change.
A lot of people are placing their hope that wearable wireless as embodied by Google Glass is going to be another game changer. The problem with this argument is that, the reality doesn’t match the hype at this point in time. First and foremost, Google Glass units sell 4,000 dollars each. That pretty much prices a huge segment of the American population from ever buying this product. Sure, you can argue that there would be a lot of knockout devices coming out of China that would result in brace to the bottom in terms of pricing while capabilities and software features continue to ramp up in the future. this is exactly what’s happening with google android. this is a good counter argument, but the big issue is whether Google will open up the Glass software to enough application developers to make it worth their while. Remember, part of the reason why Apple is suffering in terms of market share is that the IOS system is closed . By opening up the mobile OS pace to hardware players, Google was able to dominate that market with Google Android.
With Google Glass, it appears that at this stage in time, Google is taking an opposite tack. It seems to be leaning to a closed system. If this is the case, then it is highly possible that Google Glass might not have a big impact like everybody hopes. Another issue with wearable wireless is that a lot of the functionalities that people would like to ascribe to it has been taken up by tablets and smart phones. Where exactly would a wearable wireless device fit in? Samsung has come up with smart watch system that basically works with your smart phone. Big deal? Not exactly earth shuttering innovation fright so there’s still a lot of open questions regarding just how far and how deep the impact of wearable wireless would be. But one thing is sure, while we may not see clearly what’s in the near future, just the capabilities that this device opens up, really makes the future really very exciting.