Google Glass ushers in an era of wearable computing that’s been 30 years in the making. What makes this any different than previous efforts? Read on…
1. It’s backed by Google.
Google is an insanely profitable, global, Fortune 100 money making machine. Founded on software only, they have just started to get their feet wet in hardware. Their acquisition of Motorola put this effort into high speed. Glass is an important intitiative for them, and an opportunity to once again define and own an entire market segment, as they accomplished with both search and online ads in the 2000s.
2. The tech is ready.
Wearable computing is nothing new. But the hardware miniaturization and ubiquitous connectivity is. All the buzz in 2012 was about the cloud. Google has made the prescient decision to place limited computing power in the Glass itself, instead relying on ubiquitous high speed connectivity and high powered cloud services to do the heavy lifting required of some advanced apps.
3. This is make or break for Google.
Every business model has its beginning and end. Google will, someday, lose its dominant position in the search and ad segments. Glass is a bold bet that they can transition into a complete hardware ecosystem and compete head-on with Apple and Microsoft. It is the natural extension of the Google / Google Now / Chrome browser / ChromeOS / ChromeBook / Google Apps / Nexus phone / Nexus tablet ecosystem that they’ve been quietly fusing together for the past few years. It brings internet data services into more intimate real estate — the human retina! — than any consumer product company has ever accomplished, or even dared. If they can accomplish market penetration at that level, and control the data channel, they will win.
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