You decide not to attend the meeting in person but view it over Google+ hangouts. So you search for a restaurant nearby with Google search and find the quickest way to it with Maps. You send an email to reschedule the meeting over Google+ hangouts.
You get into a quite corner of a restaurant, eating your favorite dish still attending the meeting you would have most probably missed.
You can do all this with your smartphone or tablet today but Google Glass will help you do this with gestures, voice commands and most importantly not requiring you to look away to another device at any point of time.
The solution is to have a small screen on eye wear, that displays information discreetly to the user. It is an interesting concept but will it succeed?
Here are some of the reasons why Google is the perfect company or rather is perfectly positioned to create and deliver something like Google Glass successfully.
#1. Google has the necessary products to be independent
Google has all the necessary products that would actually make something like Google Glass a usable product. It owns Gmail, YouTube, Google+, Google Maps and last but not the least Google search. It also owns a very widely used and successful mobile OS in Android.
Google Glass will need all these products seamlessly working with each other to really make it that killer product. Just imagine another company trying to make something like Google Glass but being dependent on other companies for email, maps and search?
#2. Google’s culture of tinkering
Google has a culture of tinkering with their products endlessly. They are not shy of rolling out something that is not exactly perfect (unlike Apple) to the public and then work on perfecting it over time. Gmail, Android and Chrome are perfect examples of putting out a product and tinkering with it constantly to make it extremely successful. Sometimes this sort of approach can be a disaster like how it panned out with Google Wave.
Google’s Glass project will need this sort of constant tinkering. It is a technology that people will wear on themselves. So it will be used by different people in different ways. And that will require a lot of constant tinkering and upgrades based on feedback. Here Google’s culture will give it an advantage.
#3. Google’s massive data resource
Google is a company that wants to manage your data online. It is so much more than a search engine company. Google has access to information that is wholesome. Browsing habits, search habits, places you visit and look up on maps and the kind of apps you use and much more.
This gives Google data which really matters. The sort of data that can be put together and served up in a context. This is done through several data centers across the world. These data centers are the silent running engines behind everything Google does. A product like Glass will need to harness this infrastructure to take search, video and contextual information to the next level.
A product like Google Glass, requires a lot of money. It requires deep pockets to keep investing in improving a technology that still not the finished product. Also a device you wear on your eyes, is not exactly something someone will buy online. They will need first-hand demos.
Google will need to buy real estate to put up stores where people get a feel of Google Glass before buying it. All this requires billions in the bank and guess what, Google has them.
Google Glass is often called an augmented reality product. I like to think of it as a non-intrusive display product, as I do not think it is going to layer stuff on our complete vision to augment reality. That small difference is what makes a very complex product into something very simple. This simplicity in products usually seems very obvious but only when they are very successful, like all the phone manufacturers realized after the iPhone.
What are your views on Google Glass? Do drop in your comments.