Got the invite to Google Glass a few days ago. This is after signing up to the Explorer program about 6 months to a year ago. I’m not sure why they decided to suddenly open up the program to everyone. Prior to now, it was invite only, via current explorers. Those of you who signed up for Goole+ in the early days will remember that they did a similar staged rollout. Ostensibly this was to allow beta testing and refining of the final product, but I feel that there was a large marketing component as well: if you make your product scarce, it creates the perception of value and exclusivity. Certainly this has been the perception of Google Glass. It is US only, primarily used by people in Silicon Valley and New York City, and carries a hefty price tag that even some startups may balk at.
Investigating Google Glass further, you find that it really was spearheaded by Google’s marketing department in many ways. The woman who came up with the phrase, “Okay glass”, Amanda Rosenberg, was a marketing manager at the time. So I really think this is more of a PR, branding thing than an actual product.
Of course, it may still become a real product. I am not sure when that will happen. I have heard that it could be found on the market sometime this year.
I support most of what Google does. I’m an Android developer so I obviously like to see Android used in new ways; however, this seems to be more fluff than substance. Actually, Apple’s predicted iWatch sounds much more promising in terms of a wearable smart device for this year. It would seem to be more narrowly focused on health monitoring, similar to Nike’s fuel band.
Somehow Google has done a very good job at marketing, product promotion, packaging, PR, etc to the level of a new Apple iPhone rollout, but where is the final product?
The M-ize CMO Bruce Burke demonstrated his new Glass
The display was mirrored on a Galaxy Nexus
I tried them as well.
The image was pretty sharp although small. I was able to easily take a picture by tilting my head back to wake up the device, then saying “OK Glass, take a picture”. I also accessed the New York Times by doing a voice Google search then tapping my finger on the side to open the page. It loaded the mobile version and I was able to scroll by swiping along the ear piece. Overall about as easy to use as an Android phone, but the combination of talking, touching, and head gestures would take some getting used to.
Wiz – The M-ize Wizard
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Scanadu is a crowdfunded venture to create a personal medical scanner. Their Scout scanner will operate as a wireless unit and work with software installed on your smartphone. It will measure temperature, heart rate, oximetry (blood O2), ECG, HRV (heart rate variability), PWTT (pulse wave transmit time), UA (urine analysis) and stress.
The Scanadu Scout scanner in use
Star Trek’s vision of medecine
If they make good on their promises this will be a huge boon for personalized healthcare. Not only will it allow you to monitor your health on a regular basis, but you may also be able to avoid doctor’s visits in the future as self-diagnosis software becomes available. I believe that once people have access to their own health data that there will be a large market for software that can use Artificial Intelligence expert systems to reach conclusions about the data. IBM’s Blue Gene is expected to be used in this manner for hospitals but there is no reason (other than cost) that it could not be accessed as a web service from a smart phone.
Here is the link to their website where you can actually reserve a scanner: http://www.scanadu.com/
Huawei Ascend P6
Att has done their own study which makes some predictions that are even more optomistic than my own:
“In the year 2020, today’s smartphones will like the glorified PDAs of the last decade, according to AT&T SVP Jeff Bradley. What should consumers expect? Handsets with nearly 30 GHz of processing power, terabytes of internal storage and half-gig connections to the mobile network.”
Read the entire article here: http://gigaom.com/2012/09/10/the-super-computing-phone-atts-predictions-for-devices-in-2020/
The “Phone” of 2020
I believe that in the year 2020, approximately seven years from the writing of this article, we will have access to current cutting edge space technology. This should include many of the technologies currently in use on the Curiosity rover which is part of NASA’s Mars exploration program. If even half of the capabilities of the rover can be miniaturized and mass produced, we will see a device that is very similar to the Star Trek Tricorder. I expect that such a device would cost less than $1000. That is in line with the current sale price of a new iPhone 5 ($649). Consider that this phone has the equivalent computing power of a desktop computer circa the year 2000. So, considering Moore’s law, it is not unreasonable to think that given four more doublings in the next six years we will see some amazing things in the mobile realm.
- Power source: Fuel cells. 10000< mAh
- Processor: 1.2 GHz 16 core chip
- Memory: 16 GB DDR3 RAM
- Storage: 1 TB Flash storage
- 3-axis sensor: gyroscope
- Communications: GSM radio, UHF radio (satellite), WiFi radio
- Cameras: 3 MP stereoscopic camera, 10 MP sensor with zoom, 1 MP infrared sensor, 5 MP omnidirectional camera
- Displays: 1 7″ x 5″ 1080p display, 5″ x 3″ 720p display, 4K 3D laser projector
- Spectroscopy: laser spectrograph, chemical microscope
- Environmental monitoring: humidity sensor, pressure sensor, temperature sensor, wind speed sensor ultraviolet radiation sensor.
- Chemical science: Mass spectrometer, gas chromatograph
- Radiation: Geiger counter
- Microphones: dual microphones, noise canceling microphone
- Speaker: stereo speakers, subwoofer
- Software: Artificial Intelligence software, redundant operating system