Why This Journalist Thinks Google Glass Is ‘Doomed’


Famed tech journalist and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Glass pilot Robert Scoble said in a tongue-in-cheek post on his blog that Google Glass is “doomed,” at least for 2014.

Scoble is making fun of the melodramatic tech press with the headline “Google Glass is doomed,” but with his eight months of experience testing out the headset, he has some convincing arguments as to why Google Glass won’t be a success when it’s first launched commercially this year.

One reason is price. Google Glass will probably retail for around $500 and will take a couple of hours of training from a Google employee to learn how to use. That’s a pretty steep price for something that can’t stand in as a replacement for a smartphone quite yet.

The lack of apps available for Glass was another big reason why Scoble doesn’t think the device can be a success so soon. Google needs to prove to app developers that it’s worth their time to design for Glass, and that hasn’t happened yet. Scoble pointed to the horrible quality of Glass’s Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) app as one big roadblock for the device. “Facebook is our main addiction and I can’t do it in Glass,” Scoble writes.

Low battery life, a user interface that can’t handle a ton of apps, and Glass’s inability to filter the content it shows a user contextually based on where a user is and what that person is doing were other factors Scoble cited in his belief that Google Glass won’t be a commercial success in 2014. But that doesn’t mean Scoble has lost faith in the product as a whole.

“When they get under $300 and have another revision or two? That’s when the market really will show up. 2016, I say,” Scoble wrote in the blog post. So when, if ever, will Google Glass actually become a popular consumer product?

“By 2020 I’m quite convinced this will be a big deal and there will be lots of competitors by then. So, if you make it about 2020, then it isn’t doomed,” Scoble said.

Overall, Scoble thinks that Google needs to lower its expectations about selling a ton of the devices right off the bat and instead take a slower approach that will allow the company to tweak the device as more users give feedback and Glass gets more experience in the real world. If Google and Glass can overcome fears about losing our humanity to technology and a “nerdy” stigma associated with wearing the device, then Google will be able to develop Glass into something that will appeal to the average consumer.

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