On April 15th Google is letting anyone in the US with $1500 (plus tax) and a heartbeat buy Google Glass with no prior invite. Personally, I feel this reeks of desperation and feel Google is already tying up its laces to walk away.
There is a dating hint floating around the internet that says you always ask someone out on April 1st. As if they say no, you simply respond “April fools!”
This is what Google is doing on April 15th.
“Hey world, want to adopt Google Glass: Yes, No or Maybe. Circle one”
What a great way to test the market on a product that might flop. Run a one day sale where no invites are needed. Start a PR buzz a head of time about this limited one day offer. Sit back and count the orders, or lack of orders, coming in.
Then if this experiment fails, it will confirm some of us Explorer’s rumors that it will not roll out and it will go to Google’s upstate farm in the sky with Google Latitude, Wave and Buzz.
Why would us happy Explorers say Google Glass wont get adopted?
- Bad press (silicon Valley bar attack and a recent reporter attack)
- Price vs features. Example, the current battery is lacking at this price point.
- Mobile influencers like Robert Scoble calling out Larry Page for not wearing it on a recent TED talk.
- Lobbyist groups
- US citizens worried about NSA and other government spying. When Eric Snowden blew his whistle did he ever think he would be changing the wearable tech market?
- Pro-Privacy movement. ex) Snapchat app
Is Glass is the new Segway?
Everyone (56% of US adults) has a smart phone, in all different industries and demographics.
But lets pick on Segway, this disruptive tech was planned to “change the world” but we know that didn’t go as planned. With that said, Segway does serve a purpose for a niche market. Many large events have this innovative transportation available for police officers and first responders.
The toughest question to ask yourself with any mobile hardware or software: “Does this enhance my life?”
My phablet has enhanced my life greatly and I cant go 30 seconds without checking it, or I start to twitch in withdraws.
Even as I type this my Glass lays in the computer bag next to me buried somewhere. It’s a great tool and enhances parts of my life, but not enough to adopt wearing Google Glass 7 days a week.
Similar to Segway, Glass is enhancing some industries. Life sciences industry has had the most amazing case studies from doctors supervising surgery overseas, medical students recording giving bad news to patients for critiques and even to the first documented life saved.
I’ve said it since day 1, Google Glass should have been released first phase without the camera.
Google should of attempted mass adoption on the other innovative feature sets, like passive visual alerts and augmented reality.
Then once it was asked for, launch the camera and its oh-so-creepy wink feature. People are starting to realize what gets to the internet lives there forever, from mug shots to embarrassing celebrity photos. I take it no one at Google has watched any of the painful YouTube User: SurveillantCameraMan‘s videos. These videos are fully legal.
On a high note, even if Google Glass sales slump tomorrow Glass will still be known as the wearable visual pioneer that started a market and helped ignite the awesome Google Now’s card UI.