Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
14 October 2019
Smart glasses making a comeback. This time, with Apple.
Well, maybe I don’t know everything. With the announcement that Apple will be unveiling its own smart glasses, it’s time to fess up. Google Glass didn’t take off like I thought it would.
Six years ago, I wrote that Google Glass sported potential because we live in the Facebook era in which people are open to giving up their privacy for convenience.
The idea of smart glasses made me uncomfortable. So I didn’t buy one.
But I sensed I was in the minority because of the changing nature of our relationship with technology. I mean, our own studies at Stealing Share show 40% of the population owning smart speakers in their homes like Amazon Echo.
As it turned out, Google Glass left the market two years ago as potential users were a little too embarrassed to wear them. (They looked too futuristic. So people knew exactly what specs you were wearing.) It’s no longer a mass market product, but used in the medical field.
Now comes Apple with its own version of smart glasses, dropping either later this year or early next. So, they’re right around the corner.
“Will Apple have more success than Google? I’m a little sheepish after predicting success for Google Glass. But signs point to Apple learning from Google’s mistakes.”
Why Apple’s smart glasses will be more successful than Google’s
Will Apple have more success than Google? I’m a little sheepish after predicting success for Google Glass. But signs point to Apple learning from Google’s mistakes.
For one thing, rumors suggest Apple’s smart glasses will simply be an accessory to the iPhone, without the bulky processing hardware that made Google Glass so intimidating.
In fact, MacRumors suggests the glasses will only serve as a display for networking and other basic functions. That enables Apple to keep the glasses slim and lightweight.
There’s also Apple’s past success. While the company hasn’t been perfect, its engineers and designers understand style. The smart glasses will look good, thus eliminating the embarrassment factor.
And consider the Apple Watch. I’ve been unsure of that product because I don’t see the need for it. But it’s now the world’s most popular smart watch with more than 50% market share, and it is the main player in Apple’s $5.1 billion wearables division.
So, the idea of smart glasses isn’t dead. In fact, it may just be the next big thing.
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