If you’re a techie geek and love new gadgets or indeed you’re a trendsetter of the digital age, Google Glass will never cost too much money. According to reports they will be priced at around £1,000; not much more than a pair of designer specs. However, if the hype is to be believed and they deliver on promise, in retrospect the price tag will be considered by future tech historians as negligible.
Image of Google Glass attributed to Wikimedia Commons: Antonio Zugaldia
Remember mobiles the size of house bricks?
Remember the good old days when only the rich and famous (and of course ‘yuppies’) were able to afford a mobile phone. Fast rewind back to the late eighties when a brick sized phone cost somewhere in the region of £2,000, with call charges per minute at exorbitant rates compared to nowadays. Looking back into the past, the perception of the general public at that time was that owning and using a mobile phone was gimmicky, tasteless and nothing less than posing.
Long before companies such as web design Leicester firm Absolute Design was a twinkle in the eye of its CEO, and certainly long before websites had to be ‘mobile friendly’, mobile phones were simply that – a mobile phone. Nowadays, website designers have to create websites which are mobile friendly. Increasing numbers of people now access the web on the move. As mobile networks become more widespread and reliable, numbers and surfing time will increase exponentially. The future of Smartphones could be Google Glass (only time will tell).
Back to the future
Referring back to those early days of the mobile phone, how many people would have bet on the fact that mobiles would catch on and become as prolific in use as they are today? Indeed, very few in the industry back in the late eighties and early nineties foresaw the revolution in communications which was just over the horizon. Perhaps we can look at Google Glass in the same way, although perhaps with more foresight than was available with mobile phones.
The people who are prepared to pay large sums of money for such a small device are often trendsetters, techno geeks and the curious. It will take some time before such devices become common in mainstream population, but it will not take as long as it took mobile phones to achieve it. The infrastructure is already in place, app developers are already developing and the World Wide Web awaits.
The cost – oh, the cost!
From a personal viewpoint I cannot justify the cost of something so small; but what do I know. The cost of Google Glass will fall rapidly as more people buy into the technology. This will be when users get over the self conscious feeling of looking like an extra from a sci-fi movie set. It will not be long before other manufacturers reverse engineer Google Glass and start marketing their own devices to compete with Google.
Google Glass as a consumer item isn’t worth the money – but then again, designer spectacles aren’t worth the money either. Its value is in the perception of the individual. It is impossible to dissuade consumers from buying designer specs, the latest Smartphone, the new sleek iPad or the new Windows 8 OS if they have their sights set on them.
Google Glass is one such item. It will be a driving force for the entire digital communications industry as a whole. App developers, software and hardware engineers, web developers and digital marketing agencies, to mention a few examples, will all benefit from this latest techie invention, all of which are important elements of a modern economy.
You will either want it or you won’t. Whichever it is, you make your choice and pay the price accordingly.