It’s no doubt that Google’s huge reputation is second to none. However, like all innovators in the 19th and 20th century, the corporation does not lack its fair share of product failures. Google smart glass is a classic example of the many product failures by Google.
A Classical Case of Icarus
Google is known to have an insatiable appetite for trying out many business ideas. However, as the old adage goes, if you dream big, you also risk failing big as well.
This ambitious attitude resonates with the Greek mythological story of Icarus the son of Daedalus. As the story goes, Icarus gave a deaf ear to his father’s words of wisdom not to fly so high lest the wax holding the feathers together would melt away.
Icarus became ecstatic and flew high and the rest is history. To sum it up, he plunged to his death in the sea.
The Long List of Plops
Despite the fact that Google has an immense resource base such as a big pool of crème de la crème talented workforce, I find it surprising and embarrassing that they would create products that have sometimes failed and flopped miserably in the market.
A case in point is the topic product at hand. Others include: Google wave, Google notebook, Google video, Google page creator, Google catalog, Google+, Google Hang Out on air, Dodgeball and Orkut.
Way Ahead of Time
One of the main reasons why Google products fail in the market, according to most reviews, is the fact that Google comes up with products that are way ahead of their time.
When Google came up with the smart glass technology in 2011, it resembled something out of a Science-fiction movie.
The idea of a wearable computer gizmo operated by voice command was just unimaginable if not mind boggling! However, contrary to the innovator’s expectations, tech-savvy consumers didn’t buy into the gizmo concept.
Technical and Legal Challenges
When Google first launched the smart glass in 2011, the model was criticized for being too heavy. Furthermore, it was tailored to meet beta- tester’s needs. Nevertheless, models that came in subsequent years were lighter and designed for use by the public.
This opened up a whole can of worms as it marked the genesis of a long and bruising legal battle. This was mainly because it infringed on people’s privacy.
As a result of all this, Google Inc. announced that it would stop production of the gadget but promised to tweak it in future to overcome the myriad of challenges the product faced.
The failure by Google Smart Glass opened up a window of opportunities for start-ups to come up with better and refined versions of the gadget. The end of the Google smart glass marked the beginning of a new area. Newer versions such as Snap, Vuzix, ODG, and Sony among many others that have made a grand entrance into the market.
These designs were lighter, comfortable, better looking and most all, cheaper than the Google glass.
However, they are still plagued by the issue of privacy violation as they still can be able to make facial recognition thus revealing personal information of other people to the users.
Fulfilling the Promise
True to their word, Google Inc. kept their promise of improving the original Google Glass after they announced their latest revised version dubbed Google Glass Enterprise Edition. Nonetheless, the aforementioned version isn’t meant for the general public.
The enterprise edition is tailored specifically for the workers in the manufacturing, health care and logistics industries.
The enterprise edition is equipped with productivity applications that will streamline workers output, efficiency and job satisfaction. The long term goal of improving business operations and performance in these three specific industries.
Key Areas of Improvement
There are tremendous changes in the new gizmo compared to the original version namely:
- Storage: the storage capacity has been expanded to double the original from 16 Gb to 32 Gb. The RAM, however, remains the same 2 GB as the original glass.
- Battery life and charging: the enterprise edition is equipped with a larger battery with a capacity of 780mAh compared to 570mAh in the original. The charging system has also changed from USB slot to a pin-based charger. The crown in the jewel of the battery of the enterprise edition is the battery pack accessory that serves to extend the battery life significantly.
Google Glass has partnered with Ubimax and Upskills in designing the productivity applications for manufacturing and Logistics industries. The good news is that these applications have been proven and tested by AGCO, DHL and General Electric.
Google has also partnered with Augmedix to design productivity application for the health care industry. This has also been proven and tested by Sutter health to improve doctor’s productivity tremendously.
The Bottom Line
Though the finer details such as the price, the endorsement and partnership received about the enterprise edition are yet to be revealed, the early signs forecast great times ahead.