Penetrating the market with wearables hasn’t been easy for many tech companies. And on Wednesday, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) X Chief Astro Teller acknowledged in an interview at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit that indeed it’s “tough”.
To begin with, Google X is a semi-secret unit of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) that specializes in the experimentation, design and production of advanced technology devices. The division has been working on Glass, a wearable, which was expected to have been rolled out in the market earlier. However, the device is still at the prototype stage and still sending a lot of developer invites.
Teller, who heads the division, wore the wearable at the conference and he answered questions about Glass. He said: “Wearables Is Tough.”
“There’s no point having something worn on your body — that’s a big ask — unless you can give people something they really couldn’t get otherwise,”
Teller said. “It has to be qualitatively better for it to be worn.”
Teller argued that the wrong way to look at new devices is how they replace old technology and said that devices should simply be released to the market so that they find their purpose. He underlined the idea that there is a unique purpose for every device and that it’s the society and the producers to figure that out.
Besides Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), some other companies such as Toshiba have also made forays into the wearables. Toshiba is also said to be currently working on a device like Glass. Apple Inc. recently unveiled iWatch, which is expected to be in the market early next year. Some of these wearables just find it hard performing in the market, especially if it’s a field that already has some players.
As for Glass, however, it isn’t about other players, but more about the society’s disapproval. When Glass first came out, a number of people wore it and showed it off in different places. That however changed because of pressure from members of the society who felt that the device compromised their privacy.
The device is still being improved, but no information was given by Teller on when it could be officially rolled out.
This article has been written by Victor Ochieng.