Tim Cook thinks Google Glass will be a difficult sell, primarily due to its lofty price tag. He also stated that, “I don’t know a lot of people that wear them that don’t have to.”
So will he be right? Many assume he is betting on a smart watch to get Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)‘s foot into the wearable technology door. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is moving full-steam ahead with its glasses, however, and they may not be the only company planning on doing so.
The newest rumor revolves around a pair of smart glasses made by Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). Samsung is also rumored to be working on its own web-connected glasses as well. According to one source for the New York Post with knowledge of both companies’ glasses projects:
“There is quite a bit of interest from Samsung and Microsoft… Anything that involves software and operating systems is going to have Microsoft’s attention.”
Many of the speculation seems to stem from Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s previous dealings with high-tech glasses maker Vuzix Corp. Samsung ordering high-tech lenses from Israel-based Lumus has also led to speculation.
Rumors aside, it wouldn’t be unlike Microsoft to copy…
It wouldn’t be unrealistic to assume that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) may be following Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) on the whole smart glasses thing. After almost completely missing out on the mobile revolution before finally releasing Windows 8, the company may be wanting to get into the next big thing early this time around instead of playing catch-up. “Smart glasses” would most likely also compliment their new Xbox One, Windows Phone, and the entire Windows 8 ecosystem nicely.
It may also sell more glasses than Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), especially if it can do it cheaper and have the glasses connect into a succinct, already-established ecosystem as well. Or maybe it will just wait and see and let Google test the waters first, and then move in if the market solidifies and establishes consistent demand from consumers.
Augmented reality glasses to go with the new Xbox and Kinect sensor would without a doubt attract a lot of attention and demand, especially if they could do everything that the Google ones can do as well.
After the popularity of the iPhone and iPad were already well known, with much of their success attributed to the rise of the retail Apple stores, Microsoft also started to “pull an Apple,” creating the hybrid Surface tablet in-house, offering it (at least in the beginning) exclusively in its new “Microsoft Stores”– which often look eerily similar to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s retail stores. Could Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) now be attempting the same strategy with the release of its glasses?
Google Glass stores?
Like Microsoft and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) before them, Google may be looking to get into retail as well. According to Business Insider, Google may use these retail stores to sell its Internet-connected smart glasses to customers. While still only a rumor, the stores totally make sense – as they would offer a hands-on experience (including training) for Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s revolutionary product. It would also allow Google to show off other products as well, and compete even closer and more competitively with Apple and Microsoft. Consumers may soon have three different choices when going to the mall when looking for new high-tech gadgets.
The stores would also help consumers with the learning curve of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s new technology, just like Apple stores did with all of their iGadgets. Microsoft attempted to do this with Windows 8, but disappointingly it seems there are still many critics of the new Windows OS. This may not have been as much the case if the Microsoft Stores were more visible to the public in the beginning.