Is The Google Glass App Market the Next Big Thing?
Now that Google plans to start selling Glass this year, the company is looking for inventors and companies to help make the device appealing to the masses. But will the app market for Google Glass turn into a market like Apple’s $25 billion market?
Last month, the company held a two-day Glass Foundry event in New York and San Francisco for developers. Google said that there were more than 80 new ideas created at the event and selected eight winning teams. Google was very secretive about the event, making participants sign a non-disclosure agreement, but enough came out about it that the company plans to offer additional Glass Foundries in the future.
Google will also be hosting an event entitled “Building New Experiences with Glass” at SXSW in Austin on Monday. During the session, Google’s Senior Developer Advocate, Timothy Jordan, will show people how Glass can work in their lives and how to use the cloud API to build new experiences and bring people closer together.
In addition to recruiting developers to come up with ideas for Glass, Google is developing apps of its own as well. The company has helped fund the InSight system, which helps Glass users identify people based on their clothes, according to New Scientist. The system detects individuals through their smart phone and with Google Glass to analyze clothes, eyeglasses, and other items. Once the person is identified, their name is displayed on the Google Glass headset whenever you bump into them, according to an article published yesterday by New Scientist.
I’m not sure that an app that identifies people is compelling enough for the masses to buy Google Glass (which costs a whopping $1500), and that may why the company is holding events like the Glass Foundries and seminars at SXSW for developers.
Glass developers face new coding challenges because Glass works on an entirely new platform for developers and requires a new angle on software and services.
According to an interview with the head of the Google Glass project, Babak Parviz, the cloud-based API will allow developers to integrate with Glass, which enables a large variety of Glass services while keeping a consistent user experience. He said that it’s the same API that Google used to build the e-mail and calendar services that they test on Glass. However, Google has not yet released a full software development kit for Glass.
With those APIs, developers will be able to deliver specific content to a Glass user, rather than overwhelming them with all the information that might fit onto a typical smartphone screen, Parviz said.
“This is not a laptop or a smartphone. It’s an entirely new platform. So how people interact with it and what people do with it is totally new territory,” Parviz said. “But we hope that when we ship this to developers, other people will also figure out what this very powerful platform is able to do.”