COMMENTARY | I remember way back in 2010 when Steve Jobs stood on a stage and declared that the iPad was a “magical” device that would further “revolutionize” the mobile industry. Fast forward to 2013, and, indeed, Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices have helped revolutionize the way smartphones and tablets are designed from the hardware they feature to the software they support.
With Apple devices losing some of their appeal, according to recent surveys, it was only a matter of time before analysts and reviewers began focusing on the “next big thing” in tech. In late 2012, along came Google Glass.
Almost immediately after the technology was revealed, analysts began complaining. There were complaints about privacy, complaints about daily living with technology overload, complaints about battery life, and complaints for the sake of complaining. Let’s face it: Google Glass is the whipping boy of the wearable tech industry.
In reality, Google Glass is an experimentation in what wearable technology could and shouldn’t be. On the one hand, the technology allows users to pull up mapping, take photos, share information with friends, and basically discover the world around them with ease and efficiency. On the other hand, Google Glass can take photos where it shouldn’t (locker rooms, bathrooms, etc.), access information where it shouldn’t be accessed (hospitals, court rooms, etc), and even distract drivers and workers who might cause serious injury and potentially life threatening accidents.
Google Glass however is not meant to be the “magical” iPad device Steve Jobs showcased in 2010 or the revolutionary iPhone platform he debuted in 2007. The technology is meant to be a roadmap for the future, a piece of technology that figures out what wearable tech could be when executed properly.
After finally releasing Google Glass, we will likely hear complaints about battery life, OS issues that still need to be solved (rumors point to a Google Android supported build), eye strain issues, and various other issues.
I don’t expect to see 100 million people walking around with Google Glass; however, the technology will likely lead to more discussions about how to create technology on a smaller yet usable scale.
Google jumped into the autonomous vehicles field without a second thought and since that time numerous autonomous vehicle company’s have developed technology that will ultimately lead to the first mass produced vehicles.
Google Glass, for its part, is an experiment in wearable tech that won’t reach mass adoption but will reach mass appeal for developers who are always looking for something shiny and new.
If nothing else, Google Glass gives the tech giant bragging rights as a first adopter of new technology, and, in the eyes of consumers, a first adopter is an innovative adopter.
In the meantime, Google Glass will continue to be poked fun at while offering a new way to think about technology. I leave you with this fun “review” of the technology from the fine folks at Saturday Night Live: