Google Glass is a hot and trending device that everyone is clamoring for – but does the praise come too early? Here to provide analysis on the topic is SiliconANGLE Senior Managing Editor Kristen Nicole.
*# Sergey Brin, CEO of Google, architect and chief evangelist for the Google Glass project, has devoted much of his time showing off what has been called “the future of wearable computing”. Now that the initial excitement over the device has dissipated, the press has focused its attention on the project’s problems. Kristen, with Google targeting the end of 2013 for their Google Glass consumer release, how important is it to manage the public’s opinion between now and then?
*# Questions have been raised about the safety of Google Glass. There are many concerns about the long term effects of the type of “heads up displays” used in Google Glass. Even the Harvard Medical School ophthalmology professor that Google has been consulting with admits that an eye condition known as binocular rivalry, could be a problem. Some analysts attributed the poor sales of the Nintendo 3DS to the admission by Nintendo that young children viewing the 3D screen could face irreparable eye damage. Even if it’s only a slim possibility, if Google Glass can potentially damage the eyesight of its users, will that take a toll on its popularity and adoption?
*# Between 64 to 90% of office workers suffer from computer vision syndrome, or CVS, symptoms include redness, burning, irritation and blurred vision. If staring at a regular-sized computer monitor can cause discomfort, what about constantly glancing through a tiny display like Google Glass? Kristen, if there have been previous reports of incidents involving heads-up displays and their harmful effects on our vision, why are we continuing to innovate in this area? Is this technology trying to live up to the promise of science fiction?
*# Google hopes that its Glass project will have widespread appeal yet the social implications of a mainstream wearable computer have yet to be seen. There’s no Google Glass social etiquette guide, and as those social issues are broached, Google Glass could face a public backlash. Currently, other than the risk of being called four-eyes in elementary school, it’s not taboo for an individual to wear glasses anywhere. Google Glass, however, might not be welcome in locker rooms, restaurants, concerts, and anywhere else that taking pictures or videos isn’t welcome. Do you think there will be any Google Glass pushback from society at large, and if so, how will that affect Google Glass’ long-term success?
*# With science fiction films such as Minority Report romanticizing these types of futuristic displays, the thought of finally getting to use something like this, rather than just watching it on the big screen, is exciting. We reported earlier on an Ebay auction for Google Glass where bidding raised the price to 10 times its retail cost. Kristen, no doubt there’s a lot of hype for this product. When Google Glass is released, if the actual product doesn’t live up to the expectations and hype, as many analysts are predicting, how detrimental would that be for the project, and for Google as a whole?
*# Sergy Brin recently took to the stage at TED talks to promote Google Glass. He spoke about the many reasons for users to adopt Google Glass, but those in attendance found one reason very peculiar. Google Glass should be used, because mobile phones are “emasculating”. The comment left analysts wondering if Google Glass is a product that will be marketed primarily to men. Looking at the results of the #if I Had Glass, it is estimated that approximately 86% of the Google Plus submissions were from males, and only 14% by females. How successful can Google Glass be if the majority of women pass on the opportunity to wear a computer on their faces?
*#Mark Zuckerberg, was reported to have a long conversation about Google Glass with Sergey Brin recently, at the Breakthrough Prize For Life Sciences conference. Apparently, he’s very excited about the project, and he’s excited about the implications it has for Facebook. Will an endorsement by Zuckerberg, and the possibility of unique Google Glass -Facebook interactions be enough to turn this project into a winner?