Google Glass, wearable specs that can pluck data from the cloud, offer contextual computing and yes sell ads, now has three venture capital outfits to seed its developer ecosystem.
The search giant's venture capital arm said it is forming the Glass Collective along with Andreessen Horowitz and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The goal: The Glass Collective will offer seed funding to developers looking to create Google Glass applications.
Marc Andreessen, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, said on his blog:
A lot of work remains to be done between today and the full realization of the Glass vision. The exciting part about today’s announcement of the Glass Collective is that just like with the Internet and smartphones, a huge amount of that work will be done by third-party developers, who are going to have in Glass a brand new platform and springboard for creativity to play with. All of us involved in the Glass Collective are absolutely certain that developers are going to create thousands of ways for millions of people to use Glass and improve their lives and the world around them.
I could see that Glass was not just a platform for applications. It also had the potential to create a brave new world of services and experiences. Since then, in rapid fire over just 20 months, Glass has been iterated, tested and refined. It has attracted some of Google’s best and brightest talent, and is drenched in advanced software, including Android, voice recognition, and an innovative user interface.
New platforms are rare, but can be transformational, when they’re based on great products with robust APIs, powerful distribution and outstanding entrepreneurs. That’s exactly the goal of Glass and the Glass Collective. At KPCB, we’ve done this before, with funds making early bets on new platforms for mobile devices, social networks and Java.
In many respects, Google is following its Android playbook for Google Glass. Create something and then woo developers. If developers back you that's half the battle. Google has some high-powered partners to seed startups and developers and that reality could give Google Glass a nice moat around its potential business as other rivals soon follow with wearable technology.
Bottom line: Google Glass has big backers, a developer ecosystem via Android and enterprise and consumer applications waiting to be developed. A little seed funding may just be a nice kick start.