Instructor: David Schuff, Section 003

Google Glass Created a New Market For Eye-Wearable AR

Rick Osterloh, Head of Google’s Hardware Division, said to The Telegraph that hi-tech glasses are “very interesting to [Google]… we’re trying to determine what the best future will look like for other kinds of ways to experience AR than just phones.” Google Glass was introduced to the public in 2014 in open beta, where “Glass Explorers” in the US could purchase a pair for $1,500. Google Glass is an optical head-mounted display developed with the mission of producing a ubiquitous computer. The announcement of Glass was met with high excitement, creating demand among non-consumers. In 2013, there was a lot of buzz going around about the potential of augmented reality, as AR was not easily accessible to consumers through a mainstream product. Google Glass was a hit in the healthcare industry, where it helped doctors, emergency medical technicians, and paramedics save lives, especially in the spaces of surgery and radiology. With all of the excitement about Google Glass, there were a number of safety, health, and privacy concerns, which caused Google to withdraw the device from the market in 2015. Consumers within the new market of eye-wearable AR have been eagerly awaiting Google’s next move in the space of AR. After successfully creating a market for AR, Google hasn’t released much information about their next moves in the space, but there is a good amount of speculation and excitement about what the future of AR has to bring. What can Google do to mitigate privacy and safety concerns about the Google Glass? How else can Google capture demand among non-consumers within the space of AR, potentially outside of Google Glass?

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2 Responses to Google Glass Created a New Market For Eye-Wearable AR

  • Shortly after the initial launch of Google Glass, the product was deemed largely unsuccessful and temporarily pulled from the market. One of the major reasons Glass failed was because of its physical appearance. Bose just released “smart glasses” which look far more like regular eye wear than Glass. I think for Glass to become more commonplace, Google would have to alter the appearance to make them more appealing. However, I think Glass’ use by doctors could be beneficial and even disruptive, but Google would have to add HIPAA-level security to Glass.

  • Ari, great read. I definitely see the use for the health sector. Being able to see hands-free through a useful tool like that the information that a doctor needs for their patient, perhaps even in the midst of an emergency situation, would definitely be a disruptive and high-value addition to any hospital. That said, I agree with Nicole that Google has to do some retooling. While I love the idea of Google Glass and would definitely be tempted to purchase it myself, I couldn’t see myself wearing the actual product. Google does have the luxury of their core competencies in technology and data though, which should allow them to quickly advance the market once they modify their original design to be more consumer friendly.

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