(Google Glass prowling the DVF catwalk - image via source)
While capable as a tech toy, Google Glass is a veritable ninja when it comes to rustling people's jimmies about its privacy-invading superpowers. Its ability to stealth-snap pix and video tends to thrust the wearer into the spotlight - for all the wrong reasons.
As a product category, wearable devices, including Google Glass, will probaby only ship around 19 million units over the next year, a blip compared to the mighty smartphone market and the more than billion devices sold in 2013. "For the most part," says MIT Technology Review, "wearables still lack wide appeal."
The solution could lie in coming up with the right spin. "Google needs a storyteller to put it all together for consumers," observes J.P. Gownder, a wearable-computer analyst at Forrester Research. "Part of this is that simply engineering a cultural change can take time, just like it took us a while to be OK with Google Maps cars driving by. The other part is ensuring (that Glass has a) striking visual design as well as a cachet." Plus understanding how using Glass fits into daily life.
The explainer hired to do just that is a former product designer for brands like Mattel and Gap, Ivy Ross. "Retail isn't one of our strong suits, and someone like Ivy can, more than a technologist, really help us understand how people experience eyewear, because in the end this is just smart eyewear," notes Astro Teller, the "captain" of Google X moonshot projects. "The list of attributes required of the job's winning candidate 'was so long that I went out and bought a stuffed unicorn for the office." (Which Ross received upon being offered the job.)
One high-profile fashionista who digs unicorns, apparently, is Diane von Furstenberg. She put Glass on her Resort runway, rocked a pair while hobnobbing front row with fellow wearer Sergey Brin, and even recently launched a Glass collection of $1,800 frames on Net-a-Porter.com. "We are thrilled to offer Glass to our tech-savvy customers who are true leaders and innovators in style and lifestyle," says NET-A-PORTER Group Founder and Chairman Natalie Massenet. "You can be driving and watching a movie," adds von Furstenberg?!! "I probably shouldn’t say that." Um..ya think? "The point," she continues, "is that you can be filming things while you’re doing them.”
And fashion people wonder why civilians think they're so brain dead.
- Lesley Scott
Adapting futuristic technology to make it chic is a signature of the Futurenetic fashion tribe that I track. For more of my posts and podcasts about this tribe, CLICK HERE. If you're interested in learning more about each of the fashion tribes I track, START HERE.
Podcast music: Kevin MacLeod, Incompetech.com