Glasses vs Watch: A Battle for the Future Internet
Google is working on it’s awesome Google Glasses, and Apple is supposed to be working on iWatch, a next generation watch that I suppose will be another kind of device that can be connected to the Internet. I’d love to try both devices, and I think are great ideas, but when we scratch the surface, we find a possible future war among Google and Apple, both looking for gaining control on the Internet (or at least the access to Internet).
But let’s start analyzing what is happening right now. Google and Apple are actually in the middel of the mobile war: Google supporting its more open Mobile Operating System (Android), and Apple supporting iOs, their own approach to Mobile Operating Systems. This is a battle about mobile supremacy, and the mobile ecosystem (apps), but also a battle related to Internet. In the last 3 years we’ve seen an important change of habits related to Internet access. Nowadays, we are used to access Internet through our smartphones or tablets, so dominate the mobile market means to dominate the device we will be using to access Internet in the next 5 years/10 years.
We adopt technology faster than ever, and mobile is a good example. 15 years ago, you were a freak if you had a mobile phone. 10 years ago, it was cool to have a mobile phone. 5 years ago, everybody had a mobile phone. And nowadays what is weird is not to have a mobile phone, and almost everybody has an smartphone. And for the next generation of devices that will allow us to access to Internet, the adoption cycle will be even faster, so it’s logical that several companies such as Google or Apple are working on this next generation of devices.
So when we read about Google Glasses and iWatch, we should not focus on how cool they are as gadgets, we have to analyze how they will impact in our everyday life. In the last 15 years we have learn to manage our life through a mobile phone: we get in touch with the people we want, we schedule our meetings, send emails, organize our tasks, etc. And we have learn to carry our smartphones with us to every place we have to go. We tweet from our smartphones when attending an event, we use Google Maps in our mobiles as a GPS, and we read the news in our smartphone when going to the bathroom. So actually, the smartphone is the device ‘better connected’ to the humans right now.
But a smartphone is an (physically) independent device, and what Apple and Google are working on are devices better connected to the human beings. For the people that, like me, use glasses everyday, Google Glasses are a natural way to connect our reality to the virtual world. And for a lot of people, carrying a watch is so natural that if you are able to insert into a watch all the functionalities that are actually present on an smartphone, they will prefer to use that watch.
This year (probably), we will be able to buy the Google Glasses and/or the iWatch (I suppose we will see the iWatch in the market in 2014). The next 3/4 years, those will be cool gadgets, but won’t get to the mainstream. And by 2018, we will see the real battle between glasses, watches and whatever new device that will try to overcome the smartphone supremacy.
As Apple Fan Boy, I’d love to try the iWatch, but I’m sure I will get in love with the Google Glasses (those are natural for me). What kind of device do you prefer to be your next access point to Internet and the virtual life?