The Future of Entertainment series by iQ by Intel and PSFK Labs is highlighting the latest in entertainment innovation. Over the course of 10 weeks at iq.intel.com, we are showcasing new products, services and technologies, exploring the changing face of how we consume, share and create content and getting reactions from Intel experts.
Over the course of ten weeks, the Future of Entertainment series has been delving into the ways that new technologies are elevating our entertainment experiences and intertwining digital and physical worlds to create a new integrated reality. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in our final trend in the series, Wearable Interfaces. As we unpack this trend, we are exploring how wearables are changing people’srelationship with technology by making people’s interactions and experiences hyper-intuitive and seamless.
Google Glass is the most talked about piece of technology on the scene in the past couple years, surpassing the clamor that is normally only generated by the revelation of a new iPhone, and it’s not even on the market yet. Glass is currently available to developers, who paid $1500 for the privilege – but the big question on everyone’s mind is, will ordinary consumers actually use it?
Although colloquially referred to as glasses, Google Glass is actually a wearable computer mounted on a glasses-type frame. The intention is to augment everyday reality, and let users interact with the miniature computer in an instinctive manner. Glass promises to take pictures when you ask it to, give you relevant information as Google is known to do and provide a new lens with which to view the world. But in a recent poll by mobile app developer BiTE interactive, only 10% of the 1,000 people surveyed said they would wear Google Glass.
While some were interested in its ability to take a photo, many had concerns over privacy and the fact that it make take away from human-to-human interaction. “Google Glass represents a profound social barrier for the average consumer," Joseph Farrell, BiTE's EVP of operations told Mashable. "They fear social sleights of hand [such as] researching topics, recording video or Googling a person in mid-conversation.” He continued, “Overall, what Glass offers is combination of high social rejection with features the average person simply doesn't value over their current smartphone."
In its current iteration Glass has many of the same functions as a smartphone, so is not seen as appealing to consumers who would not want to wear their phone on their face. Google Glass’ awkward appearance and privacy issues seem to be its current obstacle to wider appeal. In a UK survey of 4,000 people conducted by the Centre for Creative and Social Technology (CAST) at Goldsmiths, University of London half of respondents pinpointed privacy concerns as the main barrier to purchasing wearable devices. 61% believed such devices should be subject to regulation, while 20% thought that Google Glass should be banned completely.
Nevertheless, the company is moving quickly to build out the device's capabilities, encouraging developers to begin experimenting with Android-based apps ahead of the release of its forthcoming Glass Development Kit. Even without the ability to run truly native apps on the device, early early users are already pushing the boundaries of its basic functions, using it for POV narrative filmmaking, a connected home controller, and most frighteningly, an unauthorized facial recognition tool.
With such a wide range of uses, it comes as no surprise that AllThingsD reports that Glass is predicted to generate $3 billion in revenue in the next four years, even if it only has a customer base of 64,500 people. Despite the misgivings of the general public, Glass is set to pave the way for how we interact with technology, providing us with a tool to enhance the world around u, giving users access to an always on creative tools and instant information and entertainment with merely a voice command.
The future of Wearable Interfaces is wide open for the taking. Tune in tomorrow, as we continue to discover more about the trend that is bridging the gap between our digital and human realms.
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