Google is setting some high expectations at the new Google Glass site – http://www.google.com/glass/start/ – if you haven’t seen it yet go watch the How it feels video. Setting the expectations bar so high is either going to create a ton of demand for Glass, or is going to kill it.
Beyond that though, the opportunities and challenges for Glass are fun to look at. For instance, will this style of wearable technology fall into the same “lame look” bucket as bluetooth ear pieces? Beyond style, how will people find ways to use it inconspicuously. I mean, can you imagine having to put this on during a meeting to look up contact information or an email thread? Would Glass support whispering, or hand gestures so that you could do things without having to talk out loud? Can you imagine how annoying it would get if there were 20 people in a room all trying to use their own Glass headset at the same time?
This leads me to wondering, would Glass be positioned as a phone replacement or a phone accessory? The ability to function as an amazing phone accessory will be very compelling. But like some people with tables vs. laptops, there will no doubt be a segment of the market that will find Glass as a potential phone replacement. My guess is that will still be the minority for at least the first few years.
There are plenty of situations where having something voice activated that is hands free is very desirable. With a few extra features this could do amazing things for firefighters, policemen, paramedics, etc. Tons of recreational and sports activities aren’t conducive to handling a phone, but something like Glass would go well. Imagine a composite video simulation of the Olympic opening ceremonies based on video feeds from every single person in the stands, the performers, and stadium crew, all wearing a Glass headset.
Which would be an astronomical amount of data to process. It wouldn’t even take thousands of people in one stadium to generate a large amount of data. Just one person constantly taking pictures, videos, sending messages, can generate a demand for lots of storage and a reasonable way to manage it all. That is both a huge opportunity and a huge challenge that Google will have to deal with, and could be the key to making the whole thing a viable source of revenue. What would you be willing to pay for a Google Glass account that allowed you to store, access, and share everything you ever did using your Glass headset?