Wearable tech is already becoming a major consumer electronics industry, and while smart watches may be failing to take off with the public, Google Glass has built up a lot of interest, even among average consumers. For nearly a year, Glass has already been available to early testers. Now that the test period is coming to a close, the official version of Glass should be coming to the public in 2014.
Back in April, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt told reporters that the public could expect a finished version of Glass by 2014 and possibly in the first quarter of the year. With only a few days between now and 2014, Glass appears to be within sight, causing analysts and journalists to wonder if this coming year will be the time when Glass and other wearable devices finally become popular.
Google made it quite simple for people to get involved with the Glass explorer program. For many people, the only thing preventing them from signing up was the $1,500 price tag. Google reportedly will be making the final version of its high-tech glasses available for around $600, which is within reach for many consumers.
Price is always a limiting factor for the success of a new gadget and although consumers understand the need to spend hundreds on a smartphone or computer, Google may have to persuade consumers that $600 is a good price point for Glass. Analysis of the wearable tech market from earlier this year showed that consumers are leery of these new devices, and most people, while intrigued by Glass, cannot imagine actually buying it.
Can It Be Successful?
Most analysts agree that while Glass is revolutionary in numerous ways, its potential for success in 2014 is not significant. A $600 price tag is far better than $1,500, but in an economy where every consumer needs to consider the value of every purchase, Glass does not seem so important.
As this is only the first iteration of Glass, its capabilities or the capabilities of a competitor's version will grow exponentially over time. However, for the time being, Glass does little when compared with a smartphone or other mobile device.
Simple things, like the way someone looks when walking around and wearing Glass, will also prevent it from catching on until the public is in agreement that wearable tech is useful and that it makes sense. This coming year will surely be the time when Google and a plethora of other companies show what they are working on in the wearable tech space, but it is unlikely to be the year when Glass or any other wearable device attains a massive customer base.
In the same way that it took years for smartphones to catch on and become an integral part of our lives, wearable tech, whether it be glasses, watches or implants, will have to work its way into the culture at a slow pace.
Posted: 2014-01-28 @ 10:46am PT
$600 is a little outrageous.
Samsung released the Galaxy Gear this past year for approximately half of that price and has not been met with much success.
While Glass has potential to be more functional than Gear (at least in terms of device support if nothing else) I don't think it will be much more successful... initially at least.
What they have to realize is that wearable tech simply hasn't caught on yet, and what is out there is too clunky for the average consumer.
A few years down the line I think that they will be able to get away with pricing high-end wearable tech in that range, but for now, when they're trying to introduce it to the public...
Posted: 2014-01-17 @ 10:08am PT
The price is of range for the group of consumer's who will purchase the glasses for it's purpose on a daily basis. For it to reach that group a couple of years will pass by.
Posted: 2013-12-30 @ 1:39pm PT
I cannot wait until this device is available in Australia. As a facilities manager I will be able to see what my employees see and that is a game changer.