Friday, May 03, 2013

Getting even more immediate - Google Glass v iWatch

OK - so I have been watching the coverage of Google Glass with interest.   The prototype - which is supposedly going to come out later this year has a small screen which allows one to access the internet in a way that is similar to a smart phone but smaller and closer.   You can find directions, do email, take videos and pictures, and all sorts of other things in a wearable device.

At this point it is a bit better in focus than the reported Apple iWatch.   Whose shape and design, if it ever becomes reality, is far from certain.  Apple is notorious at keeping its pro to-products out of view.

The rap on the Google product at this point includes price (at this point expected to be more than $1500), battery life (according to reports between 2 and 5 hours), resolution (from the wearers comments so far the resolution is not where it should be), and design (it looks dorky).   I would add another rap - it needs to be interchangeable (I wear sunglasses and readers and were I to buy one would like it to be usable with all my glasses.   But the test wearers who have been all over the media this week seem excited about the concept.  Fortune's tech blog offered 5 things to make the product better.

But then there is one other issue which the pro to-iWatch raises.   Is this kind of device better at eye level or on your arm?  The Google approach (eye) is more immediate and in some ways (I have not worn a watch in more than a decade) more convenient.    The wrist option, which the iWatch would offer is less in your face (pun intended) and could use some of the technology and legendary battery life of products of the shuffle or the nano.   Obviously, using the internet is more battery intensive than playing music but I suspect a wrist based product could offer more use time.   This is a space that both companies and possibly others are trying to invade.   By the end of the year, we may have salable models of both concepts.

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