Lessons from the predicted death of Google Glass

Lessons from the predicted death of Google Glass

Analysts IDTechEx got it right.

Lessons from the predicted death of Google Glass
Analysts IDTechEx got it right. In the 2014 edition of the best-selling IDTechEx report, Wearable Technology 2015-2025: Technologies, Markets, Forecasts, Dr Peter Harrop, Chairman of IDTechEx, made the following comment on Google Glass long before Google pulled the plug on the project this year.
 
"It is a failure, possibly because of high price and many people thinking it was indeed ugly and cumbersome and not seeing a good user proposition compared with the familiar mobile phone."
 
IDTechEx also counselled that new infotainment wearable products are very vulnerable to commoditization. Earphones, hearing aids, electronic watches, illuminating, sensing dog collars, animal RFID and the like already sell in billions out of China at only cents and dollars.
 
IDTechEx believes that, "the more heroic agenda" of healthcare wearables will give more enduring profits at satisfactory gross sales value. Potential for smart glasses applications is still evident, but the end of Google Glass should serve as a strong message for developers, rather like Nike exiting primitive fitness bands last year in the face of collapsing sales. Contrary to reports, neither company has abandoned wearable electronics: they have simply gone back to the drawing board.
 
IDTechEx suspects that the publicity is about the wrong things and, "smart wristwatches and glasses may become no more than a footnote in the history of wearables". For example, in order for sophisticated wearable technology to be widely deployed, the electronics must become invisible by transparency or extreme miniaturisation. This is already beginning to happen as stretchable conductive inks and e-textiles are incorporated into emerging products. Thirsty devices like Google Glass will be made more energy efficient and many types of energy harvesting of ambient energy will help power them. These IDTechEx reports drill down into detailed aspects as indicated: Wearable Technology Materials 2015-2025, Wearable Technology for Animals 2015-2025: Technologies, Markets, Forecasts and E-Textiles: Electronic Textiles 2014-2024.
 
As for Google, they will brush this off and continue R&D around new hardware markets. The Google X team will now report to Tony Fadell, Chief Executive of Nest Labs, a small IoT company acquired by Google for a very generous $3.2bn a year ago.
 
 
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