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Is Google Glass going to give birth to a new billion-dollar industry?

Right now, there really isn’t one single offering that caters to the needs of the people — that is, the masses — that can be classified as wearable tech. Google Glass could fit the bill. What happens then?
May 14, 2013
google glass feature
As we mentioned in a previous report, Google Glass is now well on its way to changing your world. And it will arrive sooner or later, whether you are ready for it or not. But just how big of an impact will it have on the world of technology, and the wearable tech industry in general?

A 2012 report from UK-based IMS Research, cited in a recent story on Bloomberg, posits that strong demand for wearable technology will propel the likes of Google towards becoming part of a new $6 billion USD industry, one that will cater to those who have an affinity for stuff like Google Glass and other kinds of wearable technology. The IMS Research report gives the wearable tech industry only three years to grow from where it is now to hit the $6 billion USD mark in 2016.

Is the above industry forecast gospel truth? Of course not. But are things likely to turn out that way? Absolutely. With the way that Google operates, it won’t be surprising if Glass does take off in a huge way once it finally becomes available, despite it facing many issues concerning privacy and the use of wearable tech in public. Currently, the wearable tech space is dominated by manufacturers of products used in the healthcare, fitness, and medical areas, but communications and personal computing could soon prove to be the next frontier.

What the people want

Google is no stranger to releasing products that many people want. Although it does dabble in failed product launches and discontinued offerings occasionally, for the most part, it is still quite successful at starting new ventures. Perhaps the best example of this is Android, which it launched about half a decade ago to try and control the direction of the mobile computing market. Now Android is the most popular mobile operating system in the world.

Google Glass could similarly do the same thing to the wearable tech industry. Right now, there really isn’t one single offering that caters to the needs of the people — that is, the masses — that can be classified as wearable tech. Google Glass could fit the bill, and it could even give Google something like a first mover advantage if — and this is a huge if — it just works.

If Google does end up making Glass work very well, then third-party app developers will have a perfect platform to ride on in the next wave of high-tech industry success. In fact, they’re on it already. Just as with smartphones, apps will drive further Google Glass adoption. And this is where most of the money in tomorrow’s huge wearable tech industry is expected to be made.

What if things go wrong?

If things go wrong for Google Glass, it will most certainly have something to do with user controls and privacy. The tech behind it may not perfect, but then again, so was the tech behind the iPhone and iTunes before they took over their respective industries.

Google Glass could mark the beginning of something that is far greater than anything that you have ever imagined. It could birth a new $6 billion USD industry, or a $600 billion USD industry. It’s a win mainly for Google, but if the individual right to privacy isn’t taken away completely by the time Google Glass launches for the average joe, then it’s also a win for consumers. There will be more apps, with more choices, for more devices.