If anything, humans are accustomed to judging strangers quickly, often at the first glance. In such a situation, if you dare to venture out in the streets wearing a contraption that rests on your heard while sporting a camera and a heads up display up-front, you would, in all probability, garner looks and stares that would instill a huge doubt in the minds of the observer as to which part of the world you landed from. This might be the first reaction to the latest offering from the labs of Google, the sleek, wearable computing device, the Google Glass.
Google Glass has been one of the most talked about products by Google in recent times due to the fact that it proposes something that could only have been thought of by sci-fi decades ago. What is so interesting about this form factor is that it promises to be integrated with something as trivial as glasses. The whole concept of wearable computing was perhaps given an impetus by the famous Pranav Mistry video and we have indeed come a long way since then. Technology has progressed at a pace hitherto unforeseen and it has transgressed the realms of reality.
Google Level Design
Initially, Google was very secretive about its Google X, a place where people are working hard to turn obscure sci-fi into reality. After its announcement, Google demonstrated the Glass in a high octane sky diving video which was the time people started taking notice of this peculiar device.
Since then, there has been no turning back for the product. Google, primarily a software company, was venturing into the hardware area. They roped in designers and wanted to create not just a device, but a style statement, a product meant to turn heads, literally. Apple has always traditionally been known for its sleek, slick designs, but with the Google Glass, people are talking about Google Level Design. People who have seen the pictures of the product can’t stop raving about it. Even reporters and journalists who had a chance to experience for themselves what the hype was all about, gushed not only about the features of the product, but the meticulous care taken by Google towards making sure the design was top notch.
Google Level Marketing
The Glass is an ambitious project, to say the least. But Google is trying every trick in the trade to make sure people are aware of it and are talking about it. It wants to launch a new form factor in a transparent, inclusive way, necessitating Google level marketing. This is one of the first instances when hardware is following a trajectory of a software development product cycle, with beta testers being given the chance to try out the product and give valuable feedback, which will be factored into the product before it is made available to the general public. Google is extremely open and transparent about the whole process, a stark difference from its competitor, Apple, known for its pre-launch secrecy. The #ifihadglass campaign, meant to engage people in a creative way, has reaped benefits.
People are expressing their innate desires to capture things that they see with their own eyes from their point of view and are helping in spreading the word across. Also, Glass is open to developers and already innovative apps are being designed to leverage its utility.
The possibilities of the things you can do with Glass are tremendous. No longer would you require a smartphone to record a live concert and in addition, your hands would be free to do the things you want. There is even a funny video about how Glass can change the way we date.
One of the most impending questions that were asked was whether Glass would work with prescription lenses. Google allayed all the fears by recently announcing the support for prescription lenses and shades too. The company is, in a way, getting human with the Glass.
Here’s a video to show you how Google Glass will feel:
One of the key barriers Glass has to overcome is that of social stigma. Skeptics suggest that wearing a heads on display isn’t something people will get used to easily and it isn’t a natural extension of normal glasses. Initially, only the tech nerds might adopt it just for the sake of trying it out, but it remains to be seen if the mass population accepts this new form factor. Apart from feeling awkward yourself while wearing Glass, there is also the angle of how others around you would feel. One of the prime uses of Google Glass to capture images and videos from your own eyes might well be a bane in some cases and it very much is an invasive technology. It became easy to take a picture everywhere with the smartphone and with share it with instagram, but taking a picture or a video of others with Glass would become very intrusive as others would have no clue what you’re up to. Due to this, people would be vary while interacting with you. In addition, earlier it was easy to find out if you’re distracted if you spent too much time on your smartphone instead of talking to a person, but with Glass, the thin line would be eroded.
As with any new technology, Google Glass has a lot of detractors, but it is important to realize that even if Google Glass is a failure, it has already paved its way into technology becoming more and more personal and wearable. The amount of research and technical advances made will only be beneficial for humanity.
We had covered the future of the watch in a previous post and there are a few who make comparisons between Google Glass and the iWatch. Google Glass, featured in TIME’s best invention list of 2012, fits nicely into Google’s ecosystem of storing user data and making the interaction with Google services personal. What remains to be seen is whether this project will be successful or turn out to be dud.
What is your personal opinion about the future of wearable computing? Do you think Google Glass will be successful and you will see people accepting it as a part of their day to day lives? Will social stigma be too big an obstacle to overcome? Do let us know what you think in the comments.
Image Courtesy | scoop.it