No one can debate the success of the smartphone. A trend arguably kickstarted in 2007 with Apple’s release of the iPhone and iPod Touch, touchscreens are everywhere. They’re on our phones, can even be found on some TVs and are also on our games consoles. Needless to say that after the outstanding popularity of touch, people are looking to the future for the next ‘big thing’. Surprisingly, the next revolution could actually come from something that does away with the finger swipes and screen pokes: wearable technology in the form of Google’s Glass, Samsung’s Galaxy Gear and the Pebble smartwatch.
Google has recently bucked the touch trend with its introduction of Google Glass, pair of high tech glasses that have a built in camera and microphone that allow for voice and motion control of apps. Rumor has it that many popular smartphone apps like Twitter are in development for Google Glass and the device is expected to be introduced sometime next year. However what Glass means for the wearable market is far more than a thousand gadget eyewear clones, it could actually start a revolution in the types of gadgets we need and those that we don’t.
In terms of the camera feature that Glass employs, Google says that only a short amount of video can be recorded, but with the popularity of the quick videos that you can get on Vine or Instagram, that actually might be a good thing. Google Glass also makes it significantly easier to record a video than on a smartphone, as the user only has to issue a single voice command to control recording, rather than fumbling through a lock screen and having to find the right app on a phone.
This sort of ‘anything your phone can do, Glass can do better’ list of features (though notably, Google Glass cannot make phone calls, it relies on Bluetooth to make them through your phone) means that tech developers are going to start creating tech products as part of a whole tech package as opposed to just an accessory. Samsung’s Galaxy Gear seems to have been a hit amongst those who are talking about it, but it is likely that wearable tech will not catapault to the mainstream until the full weight of the Google marketing machine engages in the upcoming launch of the Glass product.
Because of Google Glass, the idea that wearable tech can be used as an alternative to the smartphone is something that will make Apple and Samsung rethink their smartphone offerings as wearable tech looks to rival touchscreen enabled gadgets and lure people away from purchasing smartphone in favor of one that they can more easily transport. It also may mean that in the future we’ll see entire wearable tech ‘outfits’ that bring together watch, phone, and Glass and allow them to seamlessly communicate and working together as a system. The coming wave of wearable technology devices and a future of interconnected systems composed of them could be the next ‘big thing’ that we’ve all been waiting for.
Think that Google Glass is as important as it looks or is it just a fad? Let us know in the comments.