Glass – Not As Popular As The Cell Phone

glass-snlPlease stop trying to over sell “wearable computing” and more specifically Google Glass. The reason isn’t that I hate the idea of wearable computing or Google glass, simply that there is historical proof of it’s limited desire and usability. Moving the processing closer to the input and output isn’t going to change the comfort or social acceptability of the input/output. It never has. Why would you expect it to now? In short, learn from the past!

Bluetooth headsets are considered obnoxious and only really useful when you’re driving or otherwise have to have your hands full. Every one knows the dbags that walk around looking smug and talking to themselves while ignoring the rest of humanity that isn’t in their ear.

Earbuds and headphones are obnoxious because the wearer is not always aware of their surroundings.

Nike+ for shoes isn’t something you need to have active in all situations.

Fitbit also doesn’t need to be active in all situations and serves a limited purpose.

E-Watches, are not always the most stylish or most comfortable thing.

Camera glasses have been around for a while and have really limited use and make glasses, all ready uncomfortable, bigger and even more so.

So now you have Google smashing your phone, BT headset, Watch and camera glasses together and you expect this is some how going to make these things more socially acceptable and fashionable?

I’ll say I’m sorry to all the Google Glass apologists but common sense and the all ready existing social backlash should be telling you something. I don’t think glass is going to go away but I’m sure it’s going to find a niche the same as the Segway. You’ll have a hand full of hipsters, the same people who still wear their BT headset everywhere all the time, and probably delivery drivers and possibly other service people using them. But I highly doubt this is going to be a common use device like a cell phone or a car.

There’s also, for lack of a better term, the uncanny valley that obvious wearable tech brings. Humans can tell the human form and as soon as it gets altered even in the slightest there becomes a sense of something creepy and uncomfortable. Video games have struggled with it for many years now as well as those self proclaimed cyborgs. I don’t think we’re quite there yet. I think flexible displays and other advances in computer textiles are what is truly going to usher in wearable computing because we’ll be able to make those devices truly comfortable and shape conforming to the human form.

Google and other companies aren’t wrong for trying. We have to keep trying to figure out what works. But it would be nice if it was handled a bit differently by Google. Instead of treating it as an experiment they are treating it as a cash grab from the over zealous. In addition they are trying to sell it hard to the rest of us by letting loud mouthed media types in first. Proof as they say is in the pudding and the poor reaction thus far tastes soft smooth and chocolaty.

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