Google Glass: Is it disruptive innovation for tablets?

Mobility has been the buzz word this decade. We have moved on from Personal Computers to laptops to tablets and smart phones. Moore’s law which suggests that number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years manifests itself in the form of shrinking devices. As laptops came in, they disrupted the personal computers to an extent that these have now become antiques. Same is predicted for laptops with the advent of tablets and smart phones. Next big question is whether Google glass is a disruptive innovation for tablets? Before we answer this, lets see that this mysterious Google glass is.

Wiki puts Google glass as  a wearable computer with a head-mounted display (HMD) that is being developed by Google in the Project Glass research and development project,with the mission of producing a mass-market ubiquitous computer.Google Glass displays information in a smart-phone-like hands-free format,that can interact with the Internet via natural language voice commands. Google glass for sure is vying the market space currently being shared by laptops and tablets. It is logical extension of Google’s Tablet ‘Nexus’.

Like any other Google-X project, Google glass was surrounded with mysteries and speculation till the last year. Now that this black box is open, its features and specifications look promising. Its natural language recognition, combined with touch pad on the sides, provides seamless control of the device. Bluetooth and wifi connectivity ensures easy integration with smart phones. Head Mounted Display is said to be “equivalent of a 25-inch high definition screen from eight feet away”. The weight of the device is evenly distributed.

The device helps you navigate through unknown terrains using Google maps, it also helps you check mails, search and stay connected on the fly. The display is so developed that it doesn’t obscure your real vision. One of the cool application is its real time translator.  I alsways wished I could use subtitles in real life (:P) and Google Glass  makes it possible. It appears to be the logical bridge between smart computing devices and augmented reality.

google glass

Functionally, Google glass can be  a potential substitute of tablets and hence can be a disruptive innovation. The developer version is already in use and the feedback by developer community would provide a glimpse into the future of computing devices. Google glass is expected to hit the stands by 2014 and given the hype, it should be over-subscribed in the initial pre-sale booking. It is would cost around $1500 which is equivalent to the price of high end laptops and tablets. Hence unless Google glass settles for a humbler price, it would not trouble the low end tablets and smart devices. It expects to get the first movers advantage, but industry experts say that Apple and Microsoft are working on similar devices and hence Google may face competition from unexpected quarters soon. A Google glass teardown by catwig recently gives a useful insight into its hardware and design. We would spare a post to review this teardown tomorrow.