Well, it may not be. Because Google said they would be launching the consumer version of it in 2015 (originally Brin planned to release his child during 2014 for consumers and we are almost at 2015.) And given the fact that Google killed so many good products after people started using them for good purpose, I guess this might be end of Google Glass. Anyway if you visit Google Glass site you will see “The Glass Explorer Program. Join our open beta and help shape the future of Glass.” Yes, it is still in Beta since it was launched two years back. This shows the style of Google, which keeps its products in beta mode for a longer term. It has its own benefits though, but the downside is we are not sure when would Google pull plug of it like it did for a good products like Google Reader, Google Wage etc. Given the fact that it is nowhere near consumer price range, it could become a niche product. If you want own a Google Glass, you have shelve out $1500 minimum and if you stylize it, you are looking nearly 2 grand. And it needs data connectivity with your phone, which means it is not independently operated for a longtime.
Reuters recently surveyed Glass developers and they found majority of the developers already banned their Glass projects are in the process of. Reuters says “Of 16 Glass app makers contacted by Reuters, nine said that they had stopped work on their projects or abandoned them, mostly because of the lack of customers or limitations of the device. Three more have switched to developing for business, leaving behind consumer projects.”
Glass has only 98 apps in these nearly two years and the number of developers developing for it are very marginal when compared to other Android wearables such as watches. Entry into developing for Glass is very expensive to start with. An indie developer has to spend at least $1500 to test against a real device and that is one of the main barrier. And you never know how many people would buy, because of privacy matters and ban of the Glass from many places and this includes some places within Google itself.
Any way the Glass adoption rate is so negligible when compared to other Android platforms from Google except Nexus Q, which is because of the following reasons in my opinion.
- Eyewear and it needs fashion because it is straightaway attached to your face. Needs style add-ons such as frames, ear buds etc. in addition to the Glass itself, and they cost dearly and no for an average consumer.
- Most of the Android based Smartphone users spend less than $100 for the device, just face it.
- Operation of Glass needs more focus on the device, and the user could definitely get distracted and the result could be worse than txting while driving.
- And we are living in the unnecessary App driven world and the Apps for Glass are nothing, and even one of the major App developer for Glass, Twitter just pulled plugs from developing for Glass.
- Google Glass on eBay is selling for less than actual price. You could see the listing here.
- Accept the fact that Apple products don’t lose that much of value over the period unless Apple releases next best thing every year. And others made devices, no matter of who is making that will definitely start losing value immediately
- A lot of businesses, states and establishments banned Google Glass from their premises.
- Even the creator of Google Glass Sergey Brin might not be using it on a regular basis, because twisting hand and glancing at information is easier than taking pain to look at glass. As a constant eyeglass wearer, I can vouch it takes pain to adjust to new glasses.
- Since Glass is a wearable everyone don’t want to look like geeky or douche bag. Some people believe wearing Glass make them look like this. And definitely Google should’ve prevented this and we wouldn’t have seen a term called Glasshole.
- Glass is nowhere near ray-ban just like Smartwatches are nowhere near Swiss made watches when it comes to style and class.
And our fashion defined man Walter Smyth thinks that Microsoft Band is nowhere near fashion and he is right about that, fuggetabout Glass then. At least Band can be covered within the sleeve and is very useful. Priced perfectly and very consumer oriented device, which is also an IoT and wearable like Glass. On the other hand, Glass is worn on the face and is very significant. You don’t want to look like this when you wear and go into public like an idiot.
There may be business verticals that could benefit from Glass, but they are nowhere near consumer spectrum.
Chris O’Neill, Google Glass head of business operations told Reuters that Google is “as energized as ever about the opportunity that wearables and Glass in particular represent.” Let us wait and see. Who knows, it could become very useful and consumer accepted after all.
Image Credit: Silicon Republic