A new Forrester Research report speculates that Google Glass will be the next iPhone. In other words, it will change the way we compute from day to day much like the way Apple's original iPhone changed the mobile industry back in 2007. It will be just as omnipresent, the report claims, even more so if Google manages to get the price down to smartphone levels.
"Its short battery life, as well as the limited Mirror application programming interface (API), which restricts app developers’ access to the device’s native hardware sensors, makes version 1 Glass more of a Newton than an iPhone," writes senior analyst Sarah Rotman Epps. "By that, we mean that Glass is extremely compelling but extremely limited in its current form, just as Apple’s Newton was. But Glass is continuously improving via over-the-air updates and new applications, and we have no doubt that in time, Glass will be the next iPhone — the next great platform for engaging consumers and workers."
The current version of Glass, called Explorer, shows enough promise that Forrester Research believes it’s just a matter of time until it takes off. The report also acknowledges that marketers and third-party developers may be shut out of tracking users on Glass, but that doesn't mean Google isn't doing just that. Google is expected to wield even more power over brands in the future thanks to the insights it collects on Glass users.
"Carriers gain more power, too — Verizon already sells aggregated data from mobile phone usage via its Precision Market Insights product," Epps writes. "Because Glass tethers to the phone, even more data that can potentially be packaged and sold will flow through carriers’ networks. The bottom line for marketers: You’ll have access to plenty of data from Glass, but it won’t be through the targeting technologies you’ve come to depend on, and you’ll rely ever more on Google and its network partners to get that data."
Google Glass isn't expected to arrive on the market until the middle of 2014. Until then, Google has a lot of explaining to do in regards to privacy. The American government as well as agencies across the globe have asked Larry Page how these specs will function in society, how Google plans to deal with the embedded camera, and so forth. Google has already put its foot down on facial and porn-related apps.
"Because Glass apps are permission-based, if consumers invite you to engage with them on Glass, you’ll likely know who they are anyway — you probably have an existing relationship with them, and they trust you enough to invite you to engage with them on this intimate platform. Activities (such as being in a certain location at a certain time of day) will cue targeting, rather than cookie-based navigational history," Epps states.
The full report from Forrester Research can be read here. Will Google Glass change the mobile industry much like the iPhone did back in 2007? Or will it become just another gadget the kids pick up off the floor and use as a piece of jewelry on their favorite stuffed animal? If Glass on Chris' awesome little son is any indication, Glass will be HUGE.