Uh, Google Glasses is NOT a Foregone Conclusion for Home Run Status
Google Glasses (NASDAQ:GOOG) were all the rage yesterday, but I’m not buying the hype. Google put out a slick (yet very unrealistic) promo video of the product that was more like an embedded neurological enhancement than an external set of glasses with a display in the upper corner of one eye. When comparing the photos of where the actual glasses position the display and the video of first-hand experience, these images seem incredibly misleading:
You don’t need to be a neuroscientist or ophthalmologist to understand something must be seen by both eyes in order to center in your field of vision (unless you live with one eye closed). So, if the video was to match the images of the device, there should be a brown box in the upper corner of the right eye, with some seriously small images on the display. Of course, then readability comes into question.
I raise this issue not because I don’t think we’ll see this technology one day, rather because I’ve read some baseless articles on top tech sites claiming Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Facebook should worry they will lose iPhone and social media users. Really? Even if we assumed the Google Glasses could do what the video shows, there’s a long runway between that offering and one which can run millions of apps with perfect functionality and usability.
Another reason why Apple and Facebook are probably not shitting their pants: radiation. Now more than ever people are concerned about the obvious possible side-effects of technology affecting human cells. I am not sure about everyone, but I think the majority of people will think twice before fastening a small computer to their skull most of the day. Then there’s the issue of bathed your face and eyes in wi-fi waves. Harmless? It’ll take decades of usage to know.
Another misleading part of the video: the Google Glasses display is not visible when there’s no data to show. In real life, it looks like you have to wear your Google Glasses 24/7 and you’ll have a small display screen in your field of vision all the time. If you think people look absurd keeping their blue tooth ear-piece in when they are not on the phone, you’ll definitely chuckle when you see your friends wearing Google Glasses non-stop. And, if you’re anything like the glasses wearer I am, you’ll prefer not wearing glasses all the time. Speaking of people who wea glasses, do Google Glasses comfortably fit on top of prescription glasses? A significant percentage of people still wear those. Google Contacts, anyone?
Lastly, before the tech world day dreams themselves into a utopian delusion where all living beings sport a pair of Google Glasses, let’s not forget Google’s track record in the R&D department: it’s average. Google Wave was supposed to be the future of email. Google Health was supposed to be the one place for all digital health records. Dodgeball was supposed to be what’s now Foursquare. Google Real Estate was supposed to be what’s now Zillow (NASDAQ:Z). Picnik was supposed to be Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) Photshop online. Google Haiku was supposed to be Twitter … you get the point.
So, as the hype continues to spiral out of control, shareholders of Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook should probably not go dumping stock in fear. Take a deep breathe, close your real eyes, and envision a future where Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook are still relevant as the fierce competitors they’ve always been. Even stodgy old Microsoft has an awesome vision for the future of their products:
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