Venture capitalists who have invested in wearable technologies have warned that Google Glass could suffer from limited consumer purchase appeal, likening the techy eyewear to the Segway.
While it is widely expected that wearable technologies could be the next big boom area for the technology sector, a panel of venture capitalists speaking at last week’s Wearable Tech Expo in New York have warned against the consumer related stumbling blocks associated with Google Glass.
“It’s too big a change of behaviour," John Frankel, a partner at ff Venture Capital stated. “It’s technology that sits between you and other people. It feels to me that it’s too impersonal.”
Frankel, who has invested in a range of other wearable technologies added: “It feels more like the Segway than anything else, which is, ‘hey, this looks great on paper but I probably wouldn’t have one in the garage.’”
Far from the only venture capitalist to be put off by Google Glass’ potentially troubling consumer appeal, Tammi Smorynsku of Intel Capital stated: “We’ve kind of been there, done that.”
She added that although wearable tech is an emerging sector within the industry, headwear has not resonated as well as wrist-mounted gadgets. At present a number of leading manufacturers are said to be working on their own watch-based wearable tech with an Apple iWatch rumoured to be facing another head-to-head battle with Samsung and the mooted Samsung Galaxy Smartwatch.
A device that has courted interest and controversy in equal measure since it was first unveiled, last week industry experts claimed Google Glass would be more successful if Google had not fitted it with an outward-facing camera.
“Google Glass would have done much better if Google hadn’t included a camera,” Nick Bolton, Chief Executive of OMG told TrustedReviews during the launch of the company’s wearable Autographer camera. “The camera masks its potential by bringing in the question of privacy.”
He added: “There should always be a concern about privacy with cameras. All the same rules still apply to these devices. In fact the burden of responsibility is greater as people don’t necessary know what the device you are wearing is.”