With tons of new product ideas promoted on Kickstarter and similar platforms, outcomes delivered by R&D departments of giant tech corporations, and other sources of innovations, we have plenty of stories about success and failure for almost every IoT product category.
Perhaps, the story of Google Glass is one of the best, as it tells us that if you did a good job, you’ll always have a second chance.
When Google Glass appeared on market in 2013, it was a “geek” product that offered such options to its owner:
- Turn-by-turn navigation in the city;
- Traffic notifications;
- Weather reports;
- Sound reminders of scheduled events and meetings;
- Voice notifications;
- Use of the Google search engine;
- Video chats between device users;
- Search for interesting videos and photos;
- Timetables for transport of various levels;
- Notification of messages in active social networks.
In fact, all these options were already available on the good old smartphone that came at a much more affordable price. Google Glass looked like just a new, futuristic product format. Only a format, as it visual design was not perceived well when the company tried to play at the intersection of fashion and gadget markets. It also raised the issues of privacy. It was not clear, are the glasses recording something at the moment, so gadget owners faced unfriendly treatment from people around them.
The project was suspended on January 15, 2015. What’s important, the company conducted some researches and found out, that some manufacturers were trying to adapt the product to their needs, as they saw a lot of potential for productivity improvement.
The company had undertaken a complete rethink of product use and target markets. As the result, we saw the Google Glass Enterprise Edition released for industrial companies in this year.
Here is how Google Glass devices are used at Boeing:
The new version of Google Glass offers:
- Removable projector;
- Possibility to attach the device to the protective glasses that are used in production;
- Extended run time from one battery charge;
- Possibility to use with dioptric lenses;
- Improved camera;
- Faster processor, Wi-Fi, and better security;
- A red light indicating that the recording process is in progress.
According to many specialized Internet editions, the problem of Google Glass consisted of a set of incorrect marketing decisions:
- The practice shows that you can’t launch an innovational product without clear and acceptable explanation about how it is supposed to be used. Otherwise, the product will be demonized and rejected by the most consumers;
- The idea to target a product to the mass market was not in line with pricing policy. The mass market consumer was not offered something unique (and safe) for the price $1.5K, which is quite a lot even for a geek, hipster and whoever.
The history of the Google Glass failure demonstrates that it is not enough to come up with an interesting idea that will amaze society, it still needs to be correctly implemented and properly brought to a relevant market.
And although the first steps were made in the wrong direction, Alphabet finally managed to change the game. By the way, besides manufacturing, there are also some solutions based on Google Glass functionality for other markets, like:
- Healthcare – Drchrono, Brain Power
- Journalism – VOA & Google Glass
Although the current list of solutions is not big, they are fascinating and make us feel like “the future is right here.”