5 years out
Before I had the device I confidentally told everyone that Google would have a consumer ready device in a year at half the size and $200-$500 price point. After playing around with it for 2 days I'm thinking that's just not possible.
It seems to me that in order to build a device that is this high quality at scale Google will need several things—Hardware and Software IP, manufacturing, distribution channels, and a rich developer ecosystem.
It's clear that they have the hardware and software IP under wraps. The hardware and software of glass are much higher quality and much more polished than I previously expected. I'm sure there's a version 2 device in the lab that is much smaller and sharper in every aspect.
Manufacturing is probably a different story. After all this is a new device with new challenges. The fact that they are slowly handing them out one at a time tells me that they obviously aren't producing these at scale yet.
Also the same with distrubution. The fact that each glass owner is being asked to fly to San Francisco, New York, or L.A. to pick up the device so that you can be walked through the UI speaks volumes. My prediction is that we're gonna see a suite of super slick Google Stores centered around glass start popping up in major cities.
Finally is the rich developer eco-system—and that's what we're all about. We're here to help Google suss out the edge cases of all the APIs and to start building value on top of their platform.
I remember reading that Steve Jobs said you want to create a product that's 5 years out. In other words you want to have the Hardware/Software, manufacturing, distribution channels, and developer ecosystem such that it takes a competitor 5 years or so to catch up.
That's what I think is happening with Glass. Google is making a bet that within 5 years the technology driving these things will have shrunk to the point where its hardly noticable on one side of a pair of really nice glasses. If they get out front now they'll own the space with regards to intellectual property, manufacturing, the channel, and the developers.
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