Google (GOOG) Glass is the most hotly anticipated gadget in that space. It is an whole new gadget in itself which can perform various day-to-day tasks, without the wearer ever having to move their hands. The computing headgear unveiled at a Google launch event in 2012 has created lot of excitement.
About a year after its initial concept video, Google opened its doors to the world, offering Glass hopefuls a chance to get their hands on the futuristic wearable by joining the company’s explorer program. If accepted, applicants would have to travel on their own dime to one of Google’s locations to pick up a pre-consumer test build of Glass for a premium of $1,500.
Now this might sound expensive for what was pretty much a prototype, but people bought into the idea in droves and Glass’ explorer program had a huge response.
Google has managed to get people talking about its high-tech eyewear by seeding it to influential individuals like athletes, entertainers and municipalities. That is all great in theory, but what about the general public?
With the exception of one special event, Google hasn’t made Glass available to the masses. But even when the company did, the wearable still carried a hefty $1,500 price tag. Consumers are just starting to wrap their heads around the idea of paying $300 to $400 for a new smartphone. In order for Glass’ reach to stretch beyond hardcore tech enthusiasts, Google will need to get its price point down to something more competitive. Perhaps the company can offer different models like it does with its Nexus phones and tablets, but Glass will need at least a sub-$500 price tag before casual users start to consider giving it a try.
At Glass’ current price point, you could buy an Xbox One, PS4 and a 32GB Nexus 5 and still have cash leftover. If these items aren’t on your personal wish list, you could also buy a souped-up Mac Book Air or a big-screen TV for under $1,500 as well.
While I could go on and on with other alternative purchase ideas, my point is that Glass is expensive and it will need a serious price cut to be accepted by casual users. Another possible alternative for Google’s fancy eyewear would be a subsidized offering from wireless carriers. People many not be too fond of signing a long-term contract with expensive service fees, but this type of setup still gives more people a shot at making a purchase.
Android’s thriving community of developers has spent several years building applications for smartphones and tablets. Wearable tech is still an emerging field and quality apps are far and few between. Sure, Glass has some nifty software available but take away its cool factor and you’ll notice that comparable smartphone applications often offer a better user experience.