Google Glass might be one of the smartest concepts we have seen from a technology company in the past few years, but when Google said they were preparing to bring this to market, we started questioning just how well it would do given its form factor.
For the past few months Google has been working with fashion brands to makes lenses for Google Glass and employing fashion designers to make the augmented headset less gruesome, but even if the finished product comes out like a mix of Giorgio Armani and Yves Saint Laurent, will anyone wear the device?
Wearable Technology on Your Head
Wearables are coming in force this year, Google already has Android Wear for smartwatches, alongside Microsoft and Apple both wanting to pitch in on the smartwatch idea. This comes alongside Oculus Rift and other VR headsets for gaming. Google Glass is a mix between the social side of smartwatches and the form factor of Oculus.
What we end up with is a gadget that cannot just be tucked away for only the user to see – everyone is going to notice Google Glass, everyone you walk past, and even if they don’t stare directly at you, they are probably going to notice the device and question your sanity.
For once, Google doesn’t have to step past an issue with the design of the platform or try to get people excited about the possibilities, they need to make it so people don’t feel like Google Glass is an obnoxious gadget, that sucks all the conversation out a room.
How does Google make it an better looker? We are not 100 percent sure there is a real way to make Google Glass look perfectly normal, although making it look more like regular glasses would be a start. Right now, even with the lenses included, Google Glass is still very noticeable.
Making it Less Noticeable
It’s not often a brand has to make their product unnoticeable, normally the big logos make it more of a promotional tool than anything else. Google Glass cannot be this, if Google wants to install the device on millions of people’s faces, they need to make sure it is easy to wear, easy to use and unnoticeable in public.
The cat will be out of the bag as soon as the user interacts with Google Glass, since almost all interactions use voice commands or recognition. The only non-voice activated services are the ones that can be done through swipes, located on the side of Google Glass.
For Google, this might be ok, they are already implementing Android Wear’s OS to use voice recognition more frequently, instead of using a touch-screen on a wearable device. This means making Google Now more usable and adding features to make it offer more information to the user.
Adopting Google Glass Globally
New tech is always laughed at when we first see it, the first mobile phone was the size of two bricks and looked God awful, but many remarked that the technology was amazing and we could all be using mobile devices someday.
Google Glass could be the same way, right now tech enthusiasts see it as a real opportunity to test out a new platform and see what we can create, whereas most of the people who have seen the headset think its a weird and ugly piece of tech.
Once a few hundred thousand people buy into the tech, we might actually see Google Glass become a more normal gadget in our everyday lives, like a phone. This is especially true considering Android Wear will offer the same sort of platform, but will be on your wrist, meaning people will get used to people talking to their gadgets at a quicker rate.
When Will We See It?
Google Glass has no confirmed date, currently Google is riding high by milking enthusiasts into paying $1,500 for a piece of kit that costs $80 to make, around $1,300 profit for the company to add another person into the beta program.
We might see an announcement at Google I/O in late June, possibly about when the augmented reality headset will be available to consumers and the price for the tech gadget, but we doubt the consumer version will be ready until late 2014 and possibly early 2015.