Google Glass has received a stylish makeover through a partnership with Diane Von Furstenberg but is it enough to change public perception? “Weird looking” and “ugly” have been common criticisms of Glass, Google’s wearable computing platform. The DVF version of Glass is available through online fashion retailer Net-A-Porter, which Google hopes will drive sales and help the device reach critical mass with a with an audience beyond early adopters. In order for Glass to become a viable platform and attract third party app developers, the device needs to have a sizable user base. It’s possible that the combination of the stylish DVF frames and the mass market availability through Net-A-Porter can deliver these users to the platform.
The bigger question is will Glass catch on with consumers and become a truly viable platform? Making Glass attractive looking is a step in the right direction, but it’s making the device useful to consumers that will sell units and get the general public on board. At this point, Glass has many apps that are interesting, but very few that are truly useful. This needs to change. In the app driven marketplace, developers build apps for platforms with an audience. Without a large enough user base, Glass won’t attract developers to make apps. It’s a classic prisoner’s dilemma scenario.
Wearable computing is definitely here to stay. It is a clear next iteration of where the mobile and social space is headed. Is Glass going to lead this charge or fade to the back of the pack and be replaced by another platform? It is too early to tell, but given how quickly emerging technologies develop it definitely a space to watch very, very closely.