Google Glass is the best thing Google has done for many reasons. It is much more important than their Android OS and no one even knows it yet. Why google glass is a perfect play by Google begins with the fact that they have first mover advantage. But it goes far beyond that, it spiders into everything Google and that is why it can become their most important venture, if it is done right!
Google Glass like iTunes has first mover advantage. There are no competitors in the market yet and what that does is allow Google to develop their 1.0 product and perfect it long before anyone gets a clue and joins the party. It is a huge advantage for them because when the device does become more popular and competitors appear Google will already have a huge head start. I compared it to iTunes because iTunes existed long before the iPhone, iPad, App store, etc. ever came about. It was just yet another media player. This afforded Apple the time to work on it, implement and get things working while having it work on Macs and Windows. Then when the mp3 craze hit and iPods became a craze it became the gateway to media and a way to control the device. The iPhone, iPad and app store then just increased the place iTunes plays in the complete package.
Now think about how Google Glass will tie into all of Google’s enterprises. It will allow the person wearing it to use Google’s search engine whenever they have a question or quandary. Google will have images from all over the world with Exif data. Images that can be incorporated into Google Maps for up to the minute data of locations. Apps developed for Goggle Glass will tie into the Android ecosystem enticing developers to push the platform further. The glasses will enable users to use all of Google’s services without effort. It will have the same effect as buying apps or music for 99 cents in iTunes. The low price makes the purchase an afterthought and that is what makes it so easy to shop. In the same way the ease of use of Google Glass will make the use of Google services an afterthought.
There will be some hurdles though, the first of which will be society. The possibilities of being recorded at anytime will call privacy into question and that is a very big hurdle. There might be indicators of when the glasses are taking a picture, recording video and/or audio. However hackers will quickly and easily be able to remove those indicators I’m sure. Then as with anything else there is always as much use of it for less than moral things as there will be for the use intended. Use of the device by voyeurs, spies and not to mention the criminal element will demand systems in place to counteract those possibilities if possible.
Yet another hurdle will be the need for people to talk to their devices. Whether asking questions, searching for things or dictating an email. There are already digital assistants that respond to voice, Siri and Google Now are just a few. Yet like the first bluetooth headsets most people still feel uncomfortable using them in very public places. The stigma of talking to yourself still exists along with the fact that private and personal things would need to be said instead of written. Things that people may not want to be public knowledge but perhaps like privacy, which is in a very different place now than it was years ago due to social networks and other online services. The whole attitude about talking to our devices might change and maybe Google Glass is the thing to push that shift. If that happens we might just end up knowing a lot more about each other more than we care to know in some cases.
If Google is able to market the glasses properly and get over the hurdles it has great possibilities. Schools would be a great place to have Google Glass for each student. It could eventually enable students not to take notes but instead to listen to the teacher/professor during class. The glasses’ OCR would pick up the written material on the blackboard and transfer it to a document while the student listened to the lesson. Then talk about an easy way to catch up on missed classes students could just borrow the video from a friend and share the electronic notes. The possibilities are just endless, malls could have their layout in a code that would be scanned by shoppers. Then when you need to find a store it’s as simple as looking it up or asking the glasses for directions. Shopping in a store and need to know the price of an item just scan the tag. These things for the most part are available now in more rudimentary ways. The best part for Google is the company will become the purveyor of all data!
This is why Google Glass is a perfect play by Google. But it will all depend on how it is handled so Google better hope they don’t drop the ball on it’s development and roll out. How we react to Google Glass depends on the user experience, how it is advertised and how accessible it is to customers aka price. So I guess we will just have to wait and see how it plays out in time.