Mobile Mavens

Google Glass: Is Google's next big thing worth all the hype?

Google Glass: Is Google's next big thing worth all the hype?

The PocketGamer.biz Mobile Mavens is our panel of experts drawn from all sectors of the mobile gaming industry.

When it comes to Google Glass, the press seems utterly torn – some believing it's the next big thing, others questioning whether it'll have a positive impact on our lives.

So, we asked the Mavens:

From your perspective, what opportunities does Google Glass present? Or is it likely to be Google's next big flop?

John Ozimek Co-founder Big Ideas Machine

John is co-founder of PR and marketing company Big Ideas Machine. Also an all-round nice guy...


It's almost impossible to predict the future significance of a product or technology which, at first glance, doesn't appear to solve any existing problem.

It may be that there is a really compelling reason for people to use Google Glass, but I'm afraid I can't see any myself.

Inside the bubble of technology hype, where Google is paying models to strut around wearing Glass while 'influencers' bang on about how they can't imagine life without having a camera attached to their face, it can indeed seem like they are uber-cool.

But back in the real world, I can't think of any work or social situation where someone wearing a pair of Glass won't be ridiculed, ignored, or asked to take them off before joining the conversation.

People that are not model-beautiful will look like prats wearing them. 99 percent of the population don't have a need for them, and I expect them fully to think they are strange and pointless should they actually go on sale via the rumoured Google stores.

Then there's the privacy angle, which is obvious and clearly significant. Just because a group of billionaires who depend on people giving up their privacy so you can be sold advertising think that privacy is dead, doesn't make it so.

In fact, I think that the emergence of technologies like Glass will finally prompt governments to legislate for more online privacy protection, not less.

I could go on. In summary, I don't see Glass succeeding, but then I don't think Google really expects them to. If they do, either they are totally out of touch with normal human behaviour, or I am.

David MacQueen Executive Director Strategy Analytics

I have to say I personally struggle to see the appeal, and I find it rather odd that Google's going down the route of hyping the product and marketing it in such a desperately-trying-to-be-cool way - smacks of a vanity project.

Perhaps the problem Google wants you to think it solves is that "you're not cool enough and don't go to enough showbiz parties". However, I'm sure there will be some interesting innovation - other than pornography, of course.

I'm thinking maybe an in-vehicle HUD might actually work well and be useful, that's assuming such usage isn't made illegal, which it already pre-emptively is.

Keith Andrew With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.

"Inside the bubble of technology hype, where Google is paying models to strut around wearing Glass while 'influencers' bang on about how they can't imagine life without having a camera attached to their face, it can indeed seem like they are uber-cool."

Heh. John wins this week's award for making me chuckle rather loudly.

Andreas Vahsen CEO / CCO / Game Economist MachineWorks Northwest

Glass - or something similar to it - will be commonplace within the next three years.

I can think of many scenarios where the isolation Glass provides is welcome: Flights, waiting for appointments, etc.

Machineworks will support Glass to the fullest, with some very novel ideas.

Brian Baglow Executive Producer Team Rock Games

Regardless of the hype (do the whooping extreme sports athletes remind anyone else of feminine hygiene advertising?) Glass is a proof of concept, nothing more. It's certainly not a commercial product.

What it may well do is show the potential (or otherwise) of a reasonably transparent augmented reality device.

I think this could be part of the 'distributed' computing of the future, where it's not about all purpose devices, but a whole range of specialist hardware (glasses, watch, etc.) communicating through one smart device.

Maybe.

I'd still like one. If Google get it communicating with my Pebble, I'll hold up a liquor store or something for the necessary cash.

Oscar Clark Consultant, Co-Founder Fundamentally Games

Oscar Clark has been a pioneer in online, mobile, and console social games services since 1998. He is also author of the book, Games As A Service – How Free To Play Design Can Make Better Games.

I suspect there is a problem Google Glass solves. Probably something about removing the need to reach for my phone to do a whole bunch of stuff.

In an ideal world there are lots of practical benefits. I travel all over to every games conference possible and find that my brain is just too slow to recall all of the thousands of people I've met before in the industry.

But I question whether the facial recognition process will be fast enough to pick out all my contacts through LinkedIn or Facebook.

The reality will certainly fall short of the dream; but I believe we will find a whole bunch of good uses and a whole bunch of bad uses and we will have to wait till the second or third generation before we really know what impact the concept will have.

Dave Castelnuovo Owner Bolt Creative

Google Glass is like a Segway for your face.

I disagree that Google Glass will be common place within the near future. There are some major stumbling blocks that prevent it from ever being ubiquitous.

Privacy is one. Something like this would not be allowed at a convention like WWDC. Would you want to have an industry chat with someone wearing glass? A chat at a Pocket Gamer party, where they could be recording your drunken missive on how someone else in the industry sucks? No, probably not.

I gather your employer would not be happy with you running around the office with Google Glass either. At the end of the day, you will probably only be allowed to wear it at someone's private residence (with their permission) or on the street.

The control mechanism is the other stumbling block that will be pretty tough to crack. Since when has voice control actually worked properly? I'm guessing it will be at least another five years before voice control works well enough for it to be the primary control mechanism.

Although I can't wait to meet my first 'Google Ass', walk up behind them and say "Glass, message Mom, 'I hate you', send".

Too bad Glass doesn't have a backward facing camera because their reaction would probably be very entertaining.

The backup control is a touch slider at the side or nodding your head. Seems like a chore. Even with Kinect, there is this promise of being able to interact with technology in easier ways by completely getting rid of the controller or touch screen.

Getting through the simplest of UI can be a painful task with Kinect and I think trying to interact with Google glass will be just as annoying. A touch screen device is pretty easy to interact with and use.

It will be a very long time before something like Google Glass can match it.

Scott Foe Chief Product Officer Ignited Artists

Wearable computing will arrive to pomp and glory, eventually: Google Glass is a big step toward that future - a scary future, in which we have "face tagging," and where all of your faux pas follow you unto eternity.

So, careful what you say here, , because the cloud will remember, and, someday, recognise.

Oscar Clark Consultant, Co-Founder Fundamentally Games

Oscar Clark has been a pioneer in online, mobile, and console social games services since 1998. He is also author of the book, Games As A Service – How Free To Play Design Can Make Better Games.

Scarily true. I won't try to explain. Sure that will come out worse

Perhaps just leave the suggestion that the excitement of meeting Scott in person was to blame.


With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.

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