Epiphany Makes $299 Smartglasses With Fashion Appeal
Still, McIntyre says she's having BYOD-style conversations with CIOs about wearables, telling them "what considerations they need to write into their privacy policies," since options like Epiphany's make them more appealing to consumers. "Consumers are employees, and people will be wearing glasses and watches with cameras into the workplace," she said. Neil Mawston, executive director of Strategy Analytics' Global Wireless Practice, expects a slow shift, calling smartglasses and their ilk (smart googles, smart lenses) a "niche opportunity." Strategy Analytics expects "just a few million" to ship globally in 2014.Epiphany Eyewear, he adds has a "good reputation" and nice marks on styling and pricing. "However, Epiphany's timing—to launch commercially when the global smartglasses market is tiny—is arguably too early," Mawston told eWEEK. "Epiphany, and other emerging wearable makers such as Pebble, may find their future lies in the hands of bigger players like Apple or Microsoft, who will at some point start hunting around for brands with established technology or distribution in the fast-growing wearables space." Over the long-term, he added, the 1 billion people in the world who wear glasses, contact lenses, goggles or sunglasses present a "big opportunity." "Persuading just 10 percent of them to wear smartglasses," said Mawston, would instantly make it a 100-million-unit addressable market." Grenier says Epiphany believes "smartglasses should be accessible to the public," and its styling and pricing are a commitment to that. But the company also isn't stopping there. "We're not a single-product company," he said. "We're a labs. We like to tinker. This is Day One of what we hope will be a 100-year company." Follow Michelle Maisto on Twitter.
Most smartglasses, he adds, are fairly expensive and unattractive, "and no one wants to be seen wearing what some may perceive as 'spyglasses' right now."