Is Google Glass the future, or does it just make you look like a dork?

wearable technology

Can you imagine anything that would inspire marketing creativity more than a device that allows you to view the Internet all the time, everywhere … like a digital layer across the world?

That certainly seems to be the promise of Google Glass, perhaps the boldest step forward in the trend of “wearable technology.”  In my mind, this will be a transformational opportunity for, well … everything! Education. Connection. Discovery. Entertainment. Business.

But my wise friend and podcast co-host Tom Webster is not so sure. In the latest edition of The Marketing Companion, Tom and I debate a wide range of topics surrounding this exciting, and to some folks, disturbing, technology. Some of the topics we tackle include:


Lesson 1: Never become a meme.

    • A lesson in how NOT to become a meme like Robert Scoble
    • Is Google Glass a win for wearable technology or the next Segway?
    • Do the “eyes” have it, or does wearable technology belong some place else?
    • What business problems does Google Glass really solve?
    • A can of worms for privacy, or just another Kodak moment?
    • Does “cool” trump “dork?”
    • The Devil’s bargain with privacy.
    • A practical view from Jamie the bartender.
    • The porn indicator, and Google’s interesting new investment
Can’t wait? Listen now:

Other Ways to Listen to the Podcast:

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  • claudeoggier

    Very funny and interesting discussion. I really enjoy listening to you guys and I am sure Mark is on the right track to add some diversity to his blog through podcasts. Keep going and thanks for letting us know at some point on how you measure your podcast success?

    Now, do you guys plan to wear google glasses in the future?

    I can’t wait to come back to this podcast in what, 2 or 3 years from now to discover the new status quo on google glasses;-)

    Take care,

  • Pingback: Google Glass: Harbinger of Things to Come? Or Rude, Intrusive Dorkfest? | BrandSavant()

  • I’m waiting for the “Welder’s Helmet” edition to come out, so I don’t have to look at people, or the outside world, any more.

  • claudeoggier

    Good point Tom;-)

  • I think this probably is the future Tom. Plus it is scalable, If people don;t know its me under the helmet I can be in multiple places at one time. I will become the Daft Punk of blogging. 🙂

  • Hey Mark!

    Good point! I think Google Glass is such a revolutionary device that nobody knows how it will evolve.

    But for sure lots of people are waiting to buy one… including me!

    So the Google marketing machine has done a great job even before Google Glass is on sale.

    By the way: do you say “Google Glass is…” or “Google Glass are…”?

    Not sure how to say that in English, because they are not named “Glasses”… sorry about that! I’m not even sure how they will be named in Spanish!

    So the question we all want to answer is: will Google Glass be the new Segway or the new iPhone? Probably something completely new and different!



  • You guys made my day today for three reasons.

    1) Any reference to or image from The Jerk hooks me every time.
    2) Best headline I’ve read today.
    3) I listened to and really enjoyed the podcast this morning.

    My take: It’s an interesting concept, but I can’t see it as a better option than other technologies available at the same or lower price points. Not just yet. Not in this iteration. I guess we’ll all see in time.

    (Welder’s helmet: Awesome!)

  • I finally got some time to listen to the podcast and enjoyed it a lot. (I could hardly tell your voices apart – grin). The Google Glass discussion was interesting. I find tech fascinating, whether or not I’d use it. And now that our space program is so sad, tech is almost all that is left of our Star Trek hopes and dreams. (grin)

  • Interesting (and funny) discussion. We’ve had quite some talks in our team about Google Glass. I have to be very careful, since I’m one of those people that failed to see the power of the iPad when that arrived on the market, mainly because I saw it as a failed notebook. The one thing I believe I missed there was the simple appeal of the direct-on; the dysfunctionality of the machine didn’t matter half as much as the revolutionary fact that this ‘pc’ is always there the moment you need it (it’s, in fact, the one and only reason I still use it from time to time).

    Ever since, I try to be extra careful when I’m judging new technology, as it may well be that I overlook USP’s that just lay beyond my personal horizon. That being said: I find it very hard to believe in the appeal of Google Glass. It’s literally way too much ‘in your face’ for my taste. Maybe I’m really getting old now at 42, but I still got 20/20 vision and I can’t believe I’d voluntary wear glasses all day for any other reason than to shield my eyes from the sun. Shades are there to set your eyes at ease; Glass gives me a headache just thinking about it.

    Of course, you don’t have to switch them on all the time, but then you’d take them off (what’s the point of wearing glasses if they don’t do anything for you – unless you really believe glasses are going to be the next fashion breakthrough), and if you start taking them off, what’s the difference with a smartphone? Yes – they might come in handy if you really need to be hands free, when you are, say, cooking, or riding a bike. But in those cases, it just seems terribly distracting to me.

    I am convinced that I am not a measure for the potential Glass market. I’m equally convinced that what we see now is not representative of what these kind of glasses might be, once the technology gets further in it’s development cycle. I do feel though that, even more than the iPad, Glass or any glasses like that require a cultural change that I’m not sure we are ready for. It feels a bit like voice controlled computing: it’s been possible for ages, but as it turns out, no one wants it, because it’s, well, very awkward, and the awkwardness doesn’t outweigh the benefits.

    I am sure the benefits of Glass will grow. Battery life will improve, uses will come up we never even thought of yet, privacy issues will be addressed (or brushed aside), image and sound quality will improve, weight and size will come down. Fact remains that I’d have to start wearing glasses, which I don’t like, for the benefit of getting information thrown in my face. History may well proove me wrong again, but I have a really hard time picturing a future where we all wear these things voluntarily.

    My father never had the eyesight I have, but it took him 30 years to have proper glasses fitted. He took them off after two days. Suddenly, he saw ‘way too many details, like leaves on trees moving all the time’. It made him ‘dead tired’. He only used them when he had to drive.

    I can only imagine the sigh of relieve once you can take Glass off in the evening. Or maybe it just takes some time to adjust. I’m just not sure I’m wiling to give it that time. Maybe a smart watch is just more ‘my thing’…

  • exigodm

    While at Google last week I noticed a lot of people wearing Glass, soon it became a non-event, basically they became glasses. To me a bigger dork badge is the belt hook for your phone, that truly is the modern day pocket protector.

    But really is Glass a step to bigger and better technology? Similar to the Newton or even that crazy Google software known as Wave.

  • Ross Quintana

    Loved the conversation around this. I appreciate Tom’s counterpoints because sometimes they reveal points that would simply be lost if the conversation just went where it maybe should go.

    VR and AR are the future for sure and I agree with the broad stroke they will make on society as a whole. If I know Google they will be a leader in this.

    I also agree we need to revisit the privacy laws. I think there are simple solutions such as software that auto blurs people’s face who don’t OK use like a Foursquare to check your face into :]

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