Tag Archives: Google Glass

The end of Google Glass?

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The end of Google Glass, in its current incarnation – yes. As a future viable, perhaps watered down, consumer based product – I doubt it.

It was ugly, you looked silly in them, and the health and social responsibility factors were questionable. Google Glass’s move back into a research project rather than a viable consumer product is indicative of the social stigma associated with this wearable technology.

It gained many column inches, which made it worthy of its impressive abilities. It also ignited the imaginations of programmers, who developed applications that enabled you to look up and see the solar system above your head, read signs in foreign languages and translate these signs in front of your eyes into your chosen language.

Even the beleaguered Tesco announced this week a Glass app for your online grocery shop. But with very few users purchasing and wearing, today’s was an unsurprising announcement from Google in response to poor consumer demand.

As seen at this year’s CES, wearable’s and VR have developed rather differently than expected giving Google, I suspect, an opportunity to exit with its head held high. It will review, redevelop, configure and improve what was a very clever innovation, but which unfortunately had significant flaws.

Google glass is not dead. It will I’m sure evolve and become something new, creating the same hype and publicity as Glass achieved, but come to market in a more viable form and function and perhaps a new name.

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A view from Google Glass base camp

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After much speculation and hype, Google Glass has finally landed in the UK. Many have asked why, citing that it’s pointless and you won’t buy it. You will.

The ‘base camp’ event was held on the 27 and 28 June by Google in Kings Cross. I was reliably informed it was staffed by not only event staff but also Google employees working on Glass; which probably explained hearing “welcome to the future” one too many times. For those less gregarious amongst us, it was perhaps a bit intimidating, especially when you get to the photo demo and are asked to strike four poses wearing the Glass while they take photos. Many seemed keen, I wasn’t.

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Following a brief tutorial wearing the new enhanced Glass with a flexible titanium frame, you get to learn the gestures whilst practicing not to squint, a natural reaction to something so alien but not necessary. Despite this, I couldn’t imagine wearing the Glass for a prolonged period.

Music, translation, star gazing were all on demo as were the different styles on display, which if I’m honest, whichever way you cut it, don’t look like normal glasses. I have no doubt however that these will change and get smaller, stylish and almost invisible like contact lenses.

What’s stunning about the device is its ease of use, clarity of vision, speed and endless possibilities. We’ve all read the scaremongering articles regarding the security or privacy aspects but putting that aside, this really is cutting edge technology that will change lives. Look at a sign in Italian and see it in English, look up at the sky and see the solar system geographically correct. I’m guessing we only experienced a minutia of what this product can really do but what we were allowed to try was impressive.

So will people buy and wear it? Are Brits going to shun this innovation as many have said? In my opinion, no, and avoiding any clichés, it is the future which will set the tech industry alive and move it to the next level.  This is a new category that changes everything, it’s the next step beyond your smartphone. Google the unassuming innovator has done it again.

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Will Google Glass arrive at retail or is it just a beautiful PR stunt?


We simply cannot escape talk around Google Glass. It’s as ubiquitous as the Beckham’s and their PR allure. Ever since Google Glass hit the media, I feel like it’s an established and viable product as modelled by the curly-haired model in the original promotional photo, which the media are still using.

But despite years of buzz, the consumer is still no closer to adding the glasses to their ever-expanding tech kit. So is Google Glass just a clever PR stunt that refuses to give up, or are we set to see the product reach the hands of those who matter, the consumer?

Google Glass seems to have been everywhere but the shop shelves. Diane von Furstenberg used the product on the catwalk at New York Fashion Week, while Virgin Atlantic has tied up with the brand for flight crew to check in passengers on selected trans-Atlantic flights.

Brands want to build partnerships with this newsworthy, futuristic piece of innovation and why wouldn’t they when Google Glass is experiencing a media frenzy? It’s exposure on a scale any business desires, singling out its brand through association as the future now.

But no one has had more positive brand awareness than Google itself, which is why this could all be a bubble about to burst. There are many barriers the brand has to overcome before it’s ready for public consumption.

It is heavily tested and commented on by the BBC’s Technology Correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones, who states: “So far, I’m intrigued by the possibilities that Glass offers, but not convinced that the user interface is up to scratch.”

Doubt clouds Glass sceptics as to the viability of the product in the face of increasing privacy rules and pressure on Google to respect these rules. Even in preliminary testing phases, Google Glass has opened a Pandora’s Box of legal concerns. If it does become the next big thing in wearable technology, what are the ramifications for intellectual property and personal privacy when somebody can secretly film or take a picture of you with, literally, the wink of an eye?

It’s now standard practice to see all manner of things documented online by people when using one hand with a mobile phone; what will happen when they are given glasses that make it possible for them to be recorded with two hands? Google responded by making modifications that would make this harder to do, but hackers will be only too happy to quickly find ways around those measures.

A report out highlights the fears consumers have over privacy issues pertaining to the product. It was found that 72 per cent of Americans cited privacy concerns as the biggest reason for not wanting to wear Glass. Those polled were especially concerned about the possibility of hackers accessing personal data and revealing personal information, including location information, Adweek reported.

That’s not to say I don’t applaud Google for this extravagant teaser campaign. It’s been executed extraordinarily well and it has built up a buzz and anticipation that may explode into fireworks or a flame, leaving us wanting more, but when’s the launch date?

If it does indeed arrive into the retail space, I can only imagine it will be a watered down variant of the present. But the fact that Ray-Ban sunglasses maker Luxottica announced last month that it has sealed a strategic partnership with Google over its Glass eyewear surely only adds fuel to the fire of concerns over privacy intrusion.

Imagine sitting on a train opposite someone who appears to be wearing a regular pair of Ray Bans, when really they’re analysing your data – it’s just not acceptable in a democratic society. Or has democracy gone full circle where the insistence on knowing everything has now come to threaten our right to privacy?

Nonetheless, this innovation, in which ever form it manifests itself, will eventually land in a retailer near you (I hope) and it will need investment in dedicated, knowledgeable brand representatives who can create the right consumer engagement with those cost conscious shopper tribes. This must be a priority if they are to make a connection with consumers and help them understand how this innovation works to enhance their day-to-day lives, to leave them with a memorable impression of both the product that will lead to a sale.

Whether Google Glass comes into the retail space or not, one thing is for sure: this has been an unstoppable PR masterpiece.

Read the full article at http://www.pcr-online.biz/news/read/blog-will-google-glass-arrive-at-retail-or-is-it-just-a-beautiful-pr-stunt/033797

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Did the Wearable Tech Expo deliver the goods?


Last week saw London’s Olympia host the UK’s first ever Wearable Technology Conference and Expo, dedicated to showcasing the latest developments in smartwatches, wristbands and other wearable devices. With speakers from Microsoft, Google, Samsung and Intel, the show promised a lot, but did it live up to the hype?

The show floor at Olympia reflected an industry that is still in its infancy with a clear split between sport and leisure wearable gadgets. The most commercially successful wearable tech category so far is that of sports-focused devices, and the plethora of health and fitness-trackers on display at the show underlined the consumer demand for these products.

Wearable tech innovations are helping athletes – both amateur and professional – to improve their performances by creating data while they train, allowing the user to identify areas that require improvement and extra focus. The recent Winter Olympics highlighted these developments as we saw athletes from around the globe trying out a variety of devices in an attempt to gain an edge over the competition. Users of sport-based gadgets certainly know what they want from their devices.

On the other side of the coin, the majority of leisure-focused wearable gadgets like Google Glass and Vrase have not yet hit the open market. This category of devices needs to be refined and defined for the consumer before it penetrates the market, a point which was very evident at the show. The battle for domination in the wearable tech industry is heating up with the major announcement from Google last week about its plans to establish a bigger presence in the industry. The search giant announced Android Wear, a version of its operating system designed specifically for wearable devices. The effects of this move by Google will be felt across the sector by chip makers, electronics firms and fashion labels working on wearable gadgets this year.

All of this is taking place against a backdrop of privacy and security concerns among UK consumers. The market share remains firmly up for grabs and the next twelve months will tell an interesting tale.

In order to thrive in the wearable tech industry brands need to place more emphasis on the quality of the design of the products, with much more input from the creative and design side required. Brands will also need to explore more effective ways for users to interact with the devices. Whether this will be achieved by taking voice activation or recognition to the next level, or through an entirely different approach remains to be seen. We can expect a different state of affairs at London’s Wearable Tech Show 2015. Watch this space.

Rupert Cook is business development director at field marketing agency Gekko
Read more: http://wallblog.co.uk/2014/03/25/did-the-wearable-tech-expo-deliver-the-goods/#ixzz2wzshjKXd

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