It seems like over a decade since we first started hearing about the way Google Glass and other wearables will change the world as we know it. Experts claim that wearable devices which enable us to digitally interact with the physical world “are the future,” but it’s easy to lose faith in such claims after years of hype but no actual product delivery. Even as an individual working in the omnichannel space, I’ve found myself wondering, “Is this ever going to actually happen?” However, my interest was recently revived upon hearing news that a new (very well endowed) partnership has been created with the sole purpose to fund innovators of Google Glass hardware and software.
The partnership, aptly named “Glass Collective,” unites Google Ventures with tech-venture powerhouse firms Andreessen Horowitz and Kleiner Perkins. Although they are not technically a “joint fund,” each of the three firms are contributing substantial seed investment to entrepreneurs and developers that show promise in augmenting the features that Google Glass has to offer. The ultimate goal of this “collective effort is to kick start the developer ecosystem for Glass and bring it to mainstream users as soon as possible.” http://techcrunch.com/2013/04/10/the-glass-collective-is-born/
Such a concerted effort to raise funds for wearable applications makes one ponder the potentially uncapped variety of uses for these devices. Any emerging product, be it hardware or software, that offers a potentially infinite number of uses, usually comes with an equally enormous market value. There have been a number of studies that explore the potential value of Google Glass applications over the next 3 years – anywhere from $1 to $6 billion depending on the study. Those are huge numbers for a product that likely won’t be released until 2014. http://haykin.net/innovationsparks/2013/06/09/google-glass-the-wearable-computing-revolution/
As a technology platform, it is tremendously exciting for us at CloudTags to see partnerships like “Glass Collective” invigorate the wearable device space. While not married to any particular device, we’re certainly eager to discover what role Google Glass will play in our quest to connect online and offline retail shopping experiences.