For years, Google has been one of the developers on the forefront of wearable computing. Their flagship technology is Google Glass. This wearable computer, an optical head mounted display similar to a pair of glasses but with a small computer screen run by voice command, has been catching the attention of journalists and tech enthusiasts for quite some time. Many people have been waiting to purchase the device, and unfortunately, the window to buy Google Glass for public consumption has recently closed.
Google Glass was recently available for public purchase for $1,500; a hefty price for a technology that might not make it if the public isn’t ready for wearable computing. But is wearable computing the next step in the Web 2.0 world? It remains to be seen if people want to be able to access the web and constantly be connected to their favorite websites, social media, and even their email.
Google is definitely throwing a lot behind their support of Google Glass. After the public sale closed, the company announced that a new update will increase battery life, improve photo-sharing, and also make it easier for developers to work with the device. They’re even pairing up with companies like Oakley and Ray-Ban to give the device an easier transition into the public sphere.
Google is also taking a page from the Web 2.0 book and making sure it continues to support 3rd-party developers. There doesn’t seem to be a better way to enhance adoption of a new product than to give the public the chance to mold it and develop accessories the way they want to. This approach is much like the way Google addresses its mobile operating software, Android. The company gives users and developers a lot of freedom to change what they don’t like while still having control over the core software.
It’s still up in the air whether the public is ready for Google Glass. However, Google appears to be happy with how the public sales period was received. They have the funds to continue supporting Glass for a long time with the hopes that it will eventually be adopted. Even if it’s a big failure, the company helped to progress wearable tech farther than any other company or person before them.