Ever since Google first unveiled the Google Glass project, the bleeding edge technology that aims to introduce an exciting new form factor for mobile data consumption and creation, tech watchers and bleeding edge early adopters have been clamoring for whatever news they could get about its release. Sergey Brin, Google’s co-founder and director for special projects, was in attendance at TED Talks 2013 this last month and got the invitation from the conference’s moderator to make an impromptu presentation of the device.
While most of his presentation didn’t reveal anything new about the device that they hadn’t already revealed in the past, Sergey mentioned that Google Glass will likely go on sale before the end of this year. Google’s internet-enabled eyepiece was originally slated to go to market early in 2014, but several reliable internet sources are reporting that the gadget’s development schedule is indeed running ahead of time and the likelihood that we will see the device in stores before the end of the year is high. This, of course, is good news for early adopters who are eager to get their hands on the device as soon as possible.
So with the age of the Google Glass form factor getting ever closer everyday, what kind of changes will this bring to those of us who might still be stuck with the form factors common to the mobile devices available today? Will Google Glass-type form factors become the norm for mobile communications in the future?
The general consensus on whether Google Glass will become successful is that it’s too early to be absolutely sure. However, there are early signs that the new form factor is already starting to be taken seriously. Sony has been rumored to be working on and has filed a patent for their own version of the form factor and a consortium of Japanese demonstrated their entry, Telepathy One, during the recently concluded SXSW conference in Austin, Texas. A number of other potential competitors are also expected to release their own versions within the next two years.
It is, therefore, likely that we will see the new form factor and other augmented reality concepts become popular in the coming years; however, analysts are quick to point out that we shouldn’t expect everyone to embrace it as the gold standard form factor for mobile communications for at least a few years more. One reliable indicator of this the significant social resistance that the new form factor seems to be getting; several parodies exist that strongly criticize the device, a few groups have been formed to resist its adoption, and a dive bar in Seattle has even banned Google Glass from being used on their premises in advance of its release.
As Sergey Brin put it during the his presentation at TED Talks 2013, Google Glass is a form factor that is new for most people and no social norms yet exist to regulate its use. He went on the note that just like during the early days of the mobile phone, modern societies will still have to undergo changes that will determine whether this new direction in design will be accepted in the long run or not.
With that in mind, it isn’t likely that the introduction of Google Glass will have a negative effect on mobile gadgets that still use traditional form factor for quite a while. So whether you’re a businessperson concerned about whether Google Glass will pose a problem to your mobile phone retail or wholesale business, or a consumer trying to decide whether making the transition will be worth it or not, you can rest assured that the day when the new form factor will be the norm is still a significant way away.