Revenge of the Glassholes
Rumors have been swirling for months.
In fact, it’s easily the worst-kept secret in Silicon Valley…
Google is planning a comeback!
A comeback, you ask?
How can one of only four U.S. companies with a market capitalization of over a trillion dollars — the others being Apple, Amazon and Microsoft — need to make “comeback”?
The answer is simple…
While Google’s conquest of the internet was swift and resolute, borderlining on monopolistic… its technology resume has one glaring weakness…
The company’s ill-fated smart glasses rank among the worst failures of all time.
Launched seven years ago, Google Glass underperformed in every conceivable way — in quality, usability, practicality and engineering. Yet despite its fatal flaws, Google Glass was marketed to an enthusiastic public at a price point of $1,500 — a dreadful decision by the tech juggernaut. Dreadful as in the first version of Google Glass didn’t even have lenses.
“A reference to Google Glass is shorthand for hubris, foolishness, a tech company completely missing the mark on what regular human beings like,” reports Wired.
Early adopters of Google’s awkward creation were slandered as “glassholes.”
If you think we’re being too hard on Google, au contraire…
Google wields so much power that a supreme failure like Google Glass must carry more weight.
Roughly 3.5 billion Google searches are performed every day, covering more than 150 languages in 190 countries… and in the case of every individual search…
Google can return whatever results it wants… in whatever order it wants… excluding anything it wants… with full autonomy and impunity.
That, my friends, is true power.
Yet still, despite its mighty ability to influence opinions…
Google Glass was an unbridled disaster.
But Google now wants to rewrite history.
On Tuesday, rumors became fact when Google announced it had acquired Canadian smart glasses company North, which began in 2012 as wearable technology startup called Thalmic Labs. The value of the deal was not disclosed, but insiders believe the acquisition cost Google around $180 million.
So will Google get the last laugh after all? Will we all be wearing smart glasses next year, blissfully unaware of Google’s past failure in this area?
Let’s dig deeper to find out.
Smart Glasses in the 2020s
Although largely ignored by the press, Google never actually exited the glasses arena.
It discontinued Google Glass in 2015 but immediately began redesigning the product for application in industries like logistics and manufacturing.
According to CNBC, “Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 runs on a more powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 platform, which Google says will provide longer battery life. Smith Optics is providing frames that look like regular glasses, too.”
Google also lowered the price point to $999. Better still, the glasses integrate nicely with smartphones that run on the Android operating system.
As far as Tuesday’s acquisition of North, Google seems to only covet North’s intellectual property portfolio, as there are no plans to continue selling any of North’s existing smart glasses.
Although I’m extremely bullish on smart glasses as the 2020s progress, I believe Apple is preparing to enter the market… effectively negating Google’s first-mover advantage.
In fact, the next issue of my premium publication, Future Wealth, will be entirely dedicated to Apple’s coming takeover of the smart glasses market.
Onward and upward,