Google Glass Struggles with Mass Appeal

by Matt Klassen on May 8, 2013

Despite its obvious geek appeal, will Google Glass ever find mainstream adoption? Is the eyewear project the next great thing in technology as many early adopters proclaim, or is it yet one more niche gadget heading for the technology bargain bin, released before its time? At this stage of the game, it could really go either way. Whatever the answer is, it’s been awhile since any technology has been so divisive, meaning that Google has accomplished at least one thing, it has got people talking about Glass.

Several weeks ago Google released the beta version of its Glass project to developers and a select group of testers, most of whom have had nothing but sterling feedback for the pioneer of wearable gadgets. But despite such rave reviews, there are a growing number of people who consider Glass to be pointless at best, disruptive and even dangerous at worst.

In fact, it seems like Google Glass is quickly becoming a technological joke across the nation, with people taking issue with everything from privacy to price to appearance. While many analysts maintain that such wearable technology will eventually garner mass appeal, there are many who continue to doubt that Google Glass will ever find mainstream success.

In an effort to enhance the appeal of Google Glass, developers are already working feverishly on apps and programs designed specifically for the eyepiece, most notably an app that allows the user to take a picture with the blink of an eye. While Glass needs nothing more than to exist to appeal to the tech aficionado, it will need a host of such apps if Google ever hopes to appeal to the casual tech consumer.

But while many are quick to point out the deficiencies of Google Glass, savvy tech analysts are quick to counter that most concerns are fairly superficial, points that will eventually become moot as Google releases future upgraded iterations of its Glass project.

For example, one of the current complaints is the appearance of Google Glass, its bulky form factor making most users look rather dorky, as opposed to the geek chic look they’re obviously going for…wait, what’s the difference again?

While the current beta version lacks the sleek design of a fashion forward technological accessory, that will soon change as Google finds the form factor that meets both functionality and fashion.

Naysayers are also quick to point to the price as a major hurdle for mass adoption, the current beta version tagged at $1,500. But as with any technology, the newer it is, the more expensive it is, and price will naturally trend downwards as more and more people give Glass a try.

But pervasive concerns over privacy and social etiquette seem to be the real stumbling blocks for mass adoption of Google’s eyewear technology, as many are concerned about the social ramifications of people milling about enraptured by the thought of recording their entire life, thus permanently distracted by the heads-up user interface. Do we really want to live in a world where mobile distraction becomes an epidemic?

In the end, regardless of what side you fall on in this ongoing debate you have plenty of company, as most surveys have found opinions are all over the map. With such diversity of opinion it will truly be interesting to see where Google Glass ends up in the next several years; on our faces, or on the cutting room floor.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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