Google Glass isn't missing: Just a part of the wearable I/O equation

Google Glass isn't missing: Just a part of the wearable I/O equation

Summary: Google Glass isn't the entire wearable story for the search giant, but part of a continuum of devices that will ultimately be connected by the user experience, cloud and context.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Cloud, Google, Mobility
20

Google Glass didn't get play in the company's I/O keynote for developers, but you'd be mistaken to assume the search giant's best known wearable device has gone missing in action.

There's a meme that Google Glass and Google+ are two big products that were downgraded in the company's forever-running keynote. It's easy to entertain the idea that Glass isn't important anymore until you actually look at the developer sessions. Yes, Google Glass was hard to find in the company's keynote, but the device's footprints abound in the developer sessions.

Consider the following before Glass is written off:

  • Glass on Tuesday added more RAM, added hardware updates and improved battery life. Before that announcement, Glass outlined new Glassware. There's a steady cadence of updates about Glass.
  • Google said Wednesday that Glass will support Android Wear, the company's vehicle to unify smartwatches, smartphones and Glass. Developers have the chance to use one platform to hit a bevy of wearables.
  • The I/O developer powwow on Wednesday had two sessions that were Glass-heavy. Sure there was a lot of talk about smartwatches, but the presenters all had Glass, which will support Android Wear notifications, stacked pages and replies. Timothy Jordan, staff developer advocate at Google, said these notifications will be available in a Glass build in the next few months.

Special Feature

Wearables: Fit For Business?

Wearables: Fit For Business?

The explosion of interest in wearable computing is one of tech's fastest rising trends. While big moves from Google, Apple, and Samsung will likely attract a lot of attention, we're going to examine the broader potential that wearables hold for driving innovation in business.

Will Glass ultimately be a mainstream product? It's unclear, but Glass' value may be derived from getting developers into the wearable market and influencing Google's thinking about the category overall.

The current thinking from Google seems to revolve around Glass as part of the wearable equation not the answer.

Let's get real: There are a lot of doubts about Glass and smartwatches. Neither seems to fulfill the promise that wearable computing can provide richer experiences where you don't get lost in a device. The technology in both cases is the center of the universe. Until the technology adds value and yet allows you to enjoy life wearables are an experiment.

In many respects, Google doesn't care what wearable platform wins. Google cares about the cloud, its data and context being the connective tissue that comingles your life with the company. Rest assured there are a lot of ads that'll go with that connective tissue.

Bottom line: For a device that's allegedly AWOL, Glass sure seems to be sprinkled throughout I/O a lot.

These slides illustrate the thinking about Glass with Google developers elaborating in the videos below:

wearables1
wearables3
wearables4
wearables5

 

Topics: Cloud, Google, Mobility

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

20 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • NFW Google...and every other IT firm.

    "In many respects, Google doesn't care what wearable platform wins. Google cares about the cloud, its data and context being the connective tissue that comingles your life with the company. Rest assured there are a lot of ads that'll go with that connective tissue."

    There isn't a snow-ball's chance in Hell I will EVER have my home, appliances, ANYTHING I wear...and ESPECIALLY my car...connected to any Internet organization. Not Apple...not Google...not Microsoft...not anyone.

    The only items that are...and will still be...connected to the Internet are my computer and Smartphone. Everything else is off limits to all of these creeps.
    IT_Fella
    • Yup

      I'm sure Google will re-think the whole idea based on your perception. I remember my grandfather saying he'd never have one of those darn, er, ah, tele-phone thingies in HIS house. Any my parents saying something similar about a cellular-phone. I'm sure there were people feeling the same way about television, electricity, and running water too.

      The point is, there are always people who want to stay a few decades behind the rest of the world, and I can assure you, not a single company is worried about the 0.001% of you.
      ccs9623
  • "Will Glass ultimately be a mainstream product?": NO

    It, more than likely, will never be mainstream in its currently botched design.
    Bruizer
    • probably not ...

      in its current form, but eventually it will be as natural to put your "glasses" on as it is putting your wallet in your pocket.
      ccs9623
  • Problem is

    The problem with "next big thingers" is they don't seem to understand there has never been a next big thing. The smartphone form factor was a long evolution from pad and paper, calculators, PDAs, and finally smartphones which are just PDAs with a network connection. Data watches on the other hand have been a consistent failure and nothing more than a novelty. I think I still have my old calculator watch that was never a very good calculator due to the size restrictions. The Google Glass thing should have been ditched due to the obvious creepiness and fashion disaster.
    Buster Friendly
  • Glass = Colossal failure...

    Google 'wearable' = Colossal failure...
    Owl:Net
  • Segway

    The Segway IMO was 100% more useful to society then Google glass would ever hope to be.
    Stan920
    • Too expensive

      nt
      AleMartin
      • For what it is so is Google Glass

        It's too expensive and it has WAY more issues across the spectrum than the Segway.
        ScanBack
    • Could not agree more!

      I agree teh segway whilst odd is extremely useful in application, Glass is little more than a customer information gathering concept under test.

      The cleverest thing about Google Glass, is getting suggestable idiots to shell out huge sums of money to test a product that has extremely limited functionality and usable life for you! THAT is an art!
      oracle57
  • Wearables are where

    Tablet computing was in the 90's. Everyone was talking about it. Companies were investing in it. A variety of products were released to a lot of hype and fanfare. None of it went anywhere. It took a decade before the combination of technology improvements, design elements, and a change from a PC centric view to a scaled up smartphone architecture created a tablet that went mainstream. I don't see anything in the current crop of Wearables that has a shot at being the next big thing
    krossbow
    • What specifically?

      What specifically are you talking about with tablet computing in the 90s? What I remember is the PDA especially the palm pilot which definitely did become successful. Wearables on the other hand have almost been a complete and total failure. Ergonomics do not change with time.
      Buster Friendly
      • Palm Pilot

        I had a few of those and they were successful but not even close to being as useful as my iPad is now. I also remember paying around $500 for a color Palm so today's tablets are a real bargain.
        rfoto
        • 1990's tablet computers

          I only sold my old iPAQ and extended battery jacket a couple of months ago! It was a total revelation in it day and was what decided me to splash out on the SE P800 those two devices had far more impact than glass ever will.
          oracle57
      • Well,

        The Microsoft tablet OS has been around since the mid-1990s. Tandy had a portable (T1000) as did a dozen other start-ups. The Palm (originally from 3COM) was built FROM existing ideas. It wasn't new, but an improved version of Microsoft's 2nd generation tablet. I had an 8x11 tablet with a pen back in 1992 by a company long since gone. The battery technology simply made them too unusable, not to mention that they were in the 7-10lbs range.

        The Palm Pilot was big because they were able to conserve battery life and give you a device that was easy to carry around. It was a 'natural' replacement for the then indispensable 'DayTimer' appointment book that EVERY salesman lived and died by.

        So yes, the modern tablet and cell phone have their roots going back to the early 80s and 90s, but only recently has technology caught up to the point that they can be truly useful devices for the masses.

        The same thing WILL happen with wearables, but not in the foreseeable future. 2020? I doubt it, but 2025, more than likely everyone will be 'wearing' their technology.
        ccs9623
  • At last some common sense to help quell the hysteria

    The best article of the whole GG saga i have yet read. Good to see that I am not alone in my thinking that Glass and other wearables are a very very long way from becoming "mainstream". I speak to a lot of young people nads the ones I have spoken to are far from convinced that "Glass" is either cool or a good idea.

    So that leaves it in the niche commercial sectors where I can see it having some handy application but it is still going to require some major developments in battery and other tech to mature into a viable product. But as Google is still first and foremost an advertising and market research & consumer information business I really do wonder how far Google is prepared to develop Glass Nexus and other hardware products for niche commercial sectors at this stage.

    Thankfully Glass is a long way from becoming another daily irritant
    oracle57
    • The "young people" you need to be talking to

      are just learning how to walk today. When I was in my teens, the idea of carrying around a "computer" was ridiculous, I'd never do it. Then the technology got to a point where it was reasonable.

      Those kids born today, or in the last few years, will wear their technology as naturally as you and I put our phones in our pockets. They will laugh at what we call "wearables" today when they see the "old photos" of what the first few generations of wearables looked like.

      This is nothing new. There were people who would never have one of those 'telervisions' in their house can didn't have the foresight to understand how technology would make them common-place.
      ccs9623
  • Google the experimental ad company

    Glass is one of those projects you could have found in an Apple labs or Microsoft labs. The difference is, Google being the company that is run by engeneers, they are much more likely to ship such experimental "geeky" projects onto the public. And just as quickly pull it from the market when it fail (as Glass surely will). Maybe that's why they've priced it so high, they are trying to recoup that development money from fandroids before they kill the project.
    dave95.
    • "....from the market when it fail ...."

      One of Google biggest issues. They put stuff and a lot of times just pure Kaa-Kaa out and then yank it away when it doesn't or keep beta on it for like ever. How long did Gmail have "beta" on it or Google+ (really is Google- Minus). They come across as a "Borg" company where you have a million things going on and they just slap stuff together all in the main stream theme of "your data will be assimilated" and they don't care how they get it. I still waiting for that huge law suit that will stop data gathering on the web for whatever reason and they are going to be hurting because God knows out side of Maps, their software stinks.
      ScanBack
      • Yea, it stinks alright

        That is why Google is such a small, struggling company, right?

        By the way, what company have you built lately? Surely with your genius insight, you must have been the CEO of hundreds of successful businesses, right? Which ones are they?
        ccs9623