Is Google Glass Doomed before it even hits the general public?

Google has been making quite a bit of fuss over its precious Google Glass – trying to integrate it in to all of their services (presumably Reader wasn’t compatible) before anyone has even got it. They have their Explorer Program, which was supposed to get Glass into the hands of ordinary people doing extreme sports, etc.

Unfortunately, it appears that this wasn’t entirely successful. Many of the people who have started to receive the Explorer Project invites seem to be celebrities and other Twitter uses with high numbers of followers. Now clearly this helps Google with the marketing of Glass for when it is (presumably) publicly released. Celebs flashing their new gadgets, glad to be a part of another exclusive club.

But is this right? Should the invites be handed out on a basis of how many people will recognize you? And then there’s the other problem. Will it work? Will the celebs make people want to ‘get Glass’ for some kind of association with the celebrities, or will they try to distance themselves from it and go with something less obvious? For example the kickstarter-funded Pebble Smart Watch or maybe even the long-rumoured Apple iWatch?

Even if Google does succeed with the celeb marketing idea, will anyone be prepared to fork out over $1,500 for a ‘pair’ of glasses that only cover one eye. That’s before we even start thinking about the privacy issues Glass brings to the table. People taking photos and video of others without their permission. We’re not sure what safety concerns they could bring either. West Virginia has already introduced a bill that prevents driving with Glass. So how long is it until other states decide to do the same?

Even if the marketing does work and people decide to spend over one thousand five hundred dollars on some broken glasses, they manage to find an app that’s free to download and not plastered with ads. Maybe they even manage to wear them on a public street without being arrested. But it’s still not clear what use will they’ll be. Then again perhaps not. They’ll join the list of niche pieces of tech we’ll remember in thirty years.

Maybe. Then again, Google’s probably already planning to kill it.


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