Do you remember Google Glass? You know, the glasses with a built in android device that can be controlled by voice and motion controls.
Well, if you don’t know, it’s because it was a huge failure.
Google Glass emerged as a highly anticipated innovation with the potential to revolutionize our daily lives. Its sleek design, hands-free interface, and augmented reality (AR) capabilities promised a futuristic experience.
However, despite its initial hype and grand vision, Google Glass ultimately failed to capture the consumer market and find widespread adoption.
Google Glass failed for several reasons: no clear purpose of use, safety concerns, no existing market, price, and more.
With the recent release of Apple’s Vision Pro, I can’t help but wonder if this AR headset will head down the same path.
High cost, low reward
One of the major hurdles that hindered the success of Google Glass was its high price tag. At its launch in 2013, the Explorer Edition of Google Glass was priced at $1500, making it inaccessible to the average consumer. With Apple’s Vision Pro being $3500, this kind of technology won’t become mainstream anytime soon.
It’s a luxury device for people who have the extra money, rather than something like a smartphone that has become a necessity of this world.
Apple didn’t need to convince people that they needed a phone. When iPhones came out, they simply created a great product to fill an existing market.
With an AR headset, however, people need to be convinced of it’s value.
While any future iterations of AR headsets might not be as ubiquitous as smartphones, that doesn’t mean it will be a failure. Only time will tell.
Safety & Privacy Concerns
Safety and privacy concerns were present on both sides of the glass. Sure, the wearer has their location and voice being tracked, but what about who the glasses were pointed at? Usually if someone is recording you, they need to physically hold up a large device like a phone or a camera. With a simple pair of glasses, there is no way to know if someone is recording or taking photos of you.
Since 2013 when Google Glass was released, we have been introduced to Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home, Apple face ID, Snapchat face filters that scan and track your face, and more.
With current technology, our voices can be copied and deepfakes are popping up all over the internet.
It’s scary to think about it this way, but it’s the world right now. Slowly, we have been conditioned to get used to this kind of privacy invasion
Some people believe this AR future will lead to even more social isolation and technology reliance. They believe we are online enough, we don’t need it to be attached to our heads.
Others have concerns for the future. For example, how will this affect the younger generation? It could result in their real-life identities being replaced by digital identities. There are already plenty of problems stemming from smartphones and social media.