Google Glass is a product with a strong market, it’s just that this market is not the average consumer. Instead, wearable tech will succeed based on apps that turn it into a specific tool with a specific purpose… which is what firefighter Patrick Jackson has been working on.
Jackson has been coding apps for Glass that make it easier for firefighters to do their job. Google, profoundly excited that somebody is using Glass for something other than unmitigated douchebaggery, posted a video demonstrating how the apps work.
Granted this is still in the prototype stage; you might notice the footage is filmed in a firefighter training facility, not an actual house. Still, it’s incredibly impressive and, more to the point, something Glass really hasn’t had before: An argument that it’s something more than a novelty.
This is the direction Google needs to go in with Glass. It’s fairly clear that outside of socially awkward people and people who chase trends that Glass has no future as a consumer product. If it were going to become the next iPod, that would have happened by now. You would hear about people getting mugged for their Glass in the street; instead you hear about Glass owners admitting the product makes you a terrible person and calling his fellow Glass owners out on being obnoxious. And in truth, the most compelling apps for Glass are built on the belief that you only wear it some of the time.
That doesn’t mean, however, that Glass isn’t useful, it’s just that Glass needs to adjust its message. “Put a camcorder on your face so people want to punch you” is not an effective marketing message. “Put these on your firefighter’s face so he can more effectively rescue you if your house catches on fire” is. Google is happy to talk about how great this app is, and they’re right. The question is, will Google realize that, whether they like it or not, this is what Glass was built for?