Every so often comes a technological innovation that seems set to change the world, only to end up as just another product that couldn’t find a market.
Remember the Segway? When first introduced more than a decade ago, it was believed that the two-wheeled vehicle would change the walking and commuting habits of city folk.
Not quite. Although still available today, the Segway is used mostly by security guards in malls, and in some cities—like San Francisco—as a conveyance for tourists. It’s also used in large plants where getting from one point to another takes time. But it’s nothing that a golf cart can’t replace.
Here in the Philippines, Segways are available, but it’s mostly a toy for the very rich. A couple of units were displayed at my high school homecoming last month, but interest was not outstanding.
There’s even a Segway knock off made locally, but it has three wheels instead of two. I saw one a couple of years ago at an Ad Congress and it was noticeable only because the manufacturer use sexy models to display the toy for big boys.
The Google Glass looks like it will fall under this category of products that could not find a substantial market.
As proof, the Bluetooth-connected wearable computing device is still not sold locally. Anyone wearing one is sure to have purchased it abroad, most likely the States.
At first blush, the product did seem like a winner.
It was meant to remove all distractions that modern gadgets create and let the user focus on human interactions with his environment. According to the site explaining what it was all about, “by putting the interface, the notifications and all of your information in a corner of your sight, you are free to go about your day without distractions.”
The Google Glass is made from a thin aluminum frame that houses all of the internal components in the side of the device, placing a small glass screen in front of the user’s right eye.
After so much hype, Google announced that the device would be available by the end of 2013. We are now in the last month of the first quarter of 2014, and not a single retailer is selling the thing.
Is it back to the drawing board for Google? Or does the product merely need some tweaking?
Quote of the week: “All of the biggest technological inventions created by man—the airplane, the automobile, the computer—says little about his intelligence, but speaks volumes about his laziness.” – Mark Kennedy