Back in Canada, this yearly fair is called the Canadian National Exhibition or CNE (we just used to call it “the Ex”). I think it’s the longest-running yearly fair; it’s been going since 1879. They have rides and exhibits and stuff: everything from food to international products, to hobbies, flowers, you name it.
One year, they decided to add a bunch of new rides called “The Human Experience” – things like bungee jumping, a couch on bungees (couch on a slingshot), that Superman thing where they pull you up and you swoop on by. Needless to say, this attracted a lot of onlookers, most of them at the bungee jump, which was suspended pretty high up over an air cushion. I was one of those onlookers. As I stood there, watching jump after jump (one guy was so big that he needed two cables, another girl, obviously not thinking it through, jumped in a skirt and spent most of the time trying to hold it down), I realized that even though I started off not thinking I was going to try it, the more I say people doing it, the more I thought, yeah, I could do that. I think it was the $95 price tag that stopped me in the end.
Moral: See something crazy or weird being done by enough people; it becomes much less crazy and weird.
Google Glass is great. Actually, some people think it’s not so great, but with all of its faults, it has been great at one thing: making people start to think about wearables in a whole new way. Even though it’s really early days, if you ask me, Google Glass, in its current incarnation and probably what its form factor will be when it finally launches to the public, will never be a true mass market device. It’s just a little too geeky and far out.
However, what Glass did really well was to push out the perception and the concept of wearables to the point that people are actually thinking about it. Even if Glass never gets truly popular (and personally, no matter how cool they make the headsets and how many celebrities they get to wear them), I think that Glass will forever remain a too geeky product. But that’s perfectly fine. More importantly, Glass made people think they might try wearables someday.
Glass is like a bungee jump by Google. IMHO, they purposely pushed the boundaries to stretch the imagination on what wearables could do and help further fire up the wearable market. IHMO, as I’ve said before, I think 2014 is the year for wearables, so if you want to start something, that space is ripe.