Report: Microsoft Preparing Google Glass Competitor
October 22, 2013 9:51 AM
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Actor Kunal Nayyar wearing Google Glass
No details on Microsoft's product are available
When Google unveiled its
Google Glass wearable electronic device
, it caught the imagination of many people with its futuristic looks and premise. Following the initial buzz created by Google Glass, word has now surfaced that Microsoft is currently testing prototypes of its own internet-connected eyewear.
The tip comes from people who “claim to be familiar” with the plans at Microsoft according to the
Wall Street Journal
. “Technology companies can’t afford to wait,” Canalys analyst Daniel Matte said. “But device vendors will face a number of tough challenges including strict power constraints which limit the number of sensors.”
The market for
wearable smart electronics
is expected to grow to $10 billion by 2016. Microsoft missed out on the big smartphone market shift that occurred when the original iPhone launched in 2007. It also missed the boat after Apple found success in the tablet market with the iPad and saw its first generation,
first-party tablet hardware flop
. Microsoft doesn’t want to get caught flat-footed again in the wearables market.
Internet connected eyewear is expected to remain a niche category for at least the next 3 to 5 years, but products like Google Glass are expected to do well in specialized markets such as security and healthcare.
One key factor for wearable electronics such as Google Glass and competing products is the price. Google Glass is expected to sell for around $1,500. Those prices obviously need to come down significantly moving forward to attract a large consumer market. Consumers will also have to get past the “
” of connected eyewear.
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Already a few competitors in a wide open space
10/22/2013 4:20:43 PM
Recon (Jet) is already working towards an year end (ish?) release of a sports oriented Glass, one that would give performance figures (speed, cadence, HR, time, whatever) in a heads up display, along with the other sort of features (camera, recording, facebook, sms, etc) that Google has talked about.
While Google can keep in in beta development for a long while, like they did with gmail, Recon will have to ship something fairly usable right off the bat. But since it's a more focused niche, if they can have usable apps for runners, cyclists (seem to already, based on George Hincapie promos), and skiers, that may be enough to get it going. Just have to deliver the hardware and with acceptable battery life.
If MS wants to enter, they may need to actually find a specific need to fill, rather than try an overarching 'it will do everything if it can sell enough to get to critical mass.' We've seen over and over how poorly that works for them.
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