In a previous blog, we’ve championed Google and their innovative team. We watched with huge interest the Google Glass reports and updates. We have to say we were a little shocked, as were many when we heard that Google were to end its Glass Explorer program earlier this year. We assumed that it was to be the end of Google Glass.
However, it would appear that I was wrong. Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt has stated that the technology and advances made thus far behind Glass are just too important to throw away, and it is currently being made ready for users.
Schmidt was reported as saying, “We ended the Explorer program and the press conflated this into us cancelling the whole project, which isn’t true. Google is about taking risks, and there’s nothing about adjusting Glass that suggests we’re ending it.” Schmidt added that Glass remains a “big and very fundamental platform for Google,” and that just like the company’s self-driving cars, the wearable device is a work in progress that will take years to come to fruition. “It’s like saying the self-driving car is a disappointment because it’s not driving me around now.”
Glass has been moved out of its Google X research lab and hand it off to Tony Fadell, head of the company’s Nest connected home division, which Schmidt says is a sign of its continued commitment to the face computer.
Glass has attracted many headlines and not a little controversy, with many criticising the invasion of people’s privacy because of the ability for the Glass wearer to record video and take photos unobtrusively. The early defamatory name for users was “glassholes.”
But Google remains interested in wearable computing devices, a potentially large market. Research firm IDC forecast last year that annual shipments will grow 78% a year to 112 million by 2018. That compares to an IDC estimate of almost 1.9 billion smartphones shipped in 2018.
The IDC believes that wearables will not catch on as quickly as smartphones because they have found it hard to estimate the true value for the user.
I understand that Google is working on a cheaper version of Glass, and certainly this will aid in its expansion I feel. Suddenly with an affordable entry price and the ability to operate independently from smartphones via their own Internet connection Glass will I am sure to prove to be an attractive device.
If they can also combine this with longer battery life, then I do not doubt that Glass will prove a success.
In no way am I playing down the invasion of privacy and the social stigma already attached to Glass, but as with all technological advances, fears will arise. Another considerable factor is the recruitment of Fadell from Apple. The brains behind the iPod he is one smart cookie and will be working with his team to not only develop the best possible product but also alleviate any fears.
I wait with interest more news on Glass.
Until next time…