Internet search giant Google Inc. (GOOG - Free Report) recently announced that it is testing new eyewear in its research lab, which will be released worldwide in the second half of next year.
The eyewear is unique as it has a tiny camera embedded in it. The camera helps to deploy the “heads-up display” through which data can be projected into the users’ vision. The display is located above the right hand side of the glass and features an inbuilt camera.
The idea behind this new Internet enabled eyewear is much like a wearable smartphone, which will allow the user to receive calls, take pictures, send messages, record a video, use Google Maps and perform other functions via voice-activated commands. In addition, another interesting feature called time-lapse capability helps to take photographs every 10 seconds and one does not need to take out the phone while clicking the snapshots.
The eyewear will be able to perform most of the functions of a smartphone or a computer. Thus, Google will offer consumers a hands-free experience.
However, given the hefty pre-order price of $1500, Google will have to devise a plan for adoption (either price reduction or a subsidy of some sort, or collaboration with a fashion brand to sell it as a fashion item). The sales strategy remains unclear as of now and the initial product will likely be taken by geeks alone.
According to experts, wearable computers or smartphone devices are the next step in mobile electronics. The tech companies are also blending the fashion quotient to market their new unique devices. The success of these wearable computers depends on the fashionable accessibility of such devices.
A number of tech companies are exploring the segment. Sony (SNE - Free Report) for one has come up with a smartwatch that one can wear on their wrist to check emails and access music stores in addition to checking time. Apple Inc. (AAP - Free Report) L) is also developing a wearable computer.
Google is known for its research and development focus, which empowers it to launch new and innovative products. In the present case, ‘Google Glass’, as the eyewear is being called is still in development Therefore, customer adoption remains unclear.
In the second quarter, Google’s gross revenue touched a record $12.21 billion. Revenues from both Google-owned and partner sites continued to grow in double digits on a year-over-year basis.
Google retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold rating.