10 Reasons It's a Bad Idea to Be a Google Glass Early Adopter

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2014-04-16 Print this article Print

Google Glass went on sale for one day April 15 as Google tries to introduce more users to its wearable computing vision for the future. The device sold for $1,500 while it was available, and Google doesn't plan to sell the eyewear again until later this year when it is scheduled for general release. Not surprisingly, Google went out of its way to promote the one-day Glass sale, saying that it's an ideal purchase for those who want to try something new. The company also wanted to expand the number of people evaluating Glass' performance to work out any kinks in its design. Those who bought Google Glass on April 15, therefore, are the pioneers, and it's always the pioneers who take the most risks. They are spending a lot of cash to get early access to technology that is still evolving and still might have some bugs. But aside from the rabid Google fans and determined early adopters, is Google Glass a smart purchase at this time? Absolutely not. While Google Glass might be a promising new form of computing, for the vast majority of folks, it's time to let the early adopters suffer through the bugs and be patient. When it comes to Google Glass, waiting rather than reacting is the smart move. This eWEEK slide show looks at the reasons why.

  • 10 Reasons It's a Bad Idea to Be a Google Glass Early Adopter

    By Don Reisinger
    10 Reasons It's a Bad Idea to Be a Google Glass Early Adopter
  • It's Too Expensive

    Spending $1,500 on a device that has yet to officially launch and prove its value seems like a lot of money, doesn't it? Google justifies Glass' price tag by saying that it's a future-focused technology, but for the same price, one could buy several smartphones, a high-end television or a handful of other wearable devices. It doesn't make much sense to spend that much on Glass right now.
    It's Too Expensive
  • Google Has Some Work to Do

    Google itself says that Glass is still in a beta phase, which means that the kinks are still being worked out. So, the folks buying Google Glass now aren't getting their hands on a finished, polished product; they're getting something that will require several updates before it officially launches. Add that to the price tag, and Google Glass seems like a bad buy.
    Google Has Some Work to Do
  • Apps Aren't There Yet

    Google has promised third-party applications for Glass, but so far, developers seem content to stick with mobile apps. That doesn't mean that apps aren't coming to Google Glass that will take full advantage of the technology, but until that actually happens, Glass appears to be a device that will be underutilized.
    Apps Aren't There Yet
  • Question Its Usability

    While the initial reaction to Google Glass might be one of excitement, one should question how usable the device really is. Google Glass is simply eyewear that can snap photos, take videos and provide directions. There are innumerable products on the market right now that are cheaper, don't sit on the face and have all of the same features. Google Glass appears to be more a novelty than anything else right now.
    Question Its Usability
  • What Else Is Coming Along?

    Before plunking down $1,500 on Google Glass, consider other wearable devices coming this year that could trump Google Glass. Apple's iWatch is expected to ship sometime this year, and several other companies, including Sony and Samsung, have already shown off compelling products. Rather than spending so much on a beta product now, why not wait to see what the competition has in store and then make the decision on which product to buy?
    What Else Is Coming Along?
  • There Will Be More Opportunities

    Don't think that this is the last opportunity you'll have to get into the Google Glass Explorer program. Google has been slowly but surely offering people access to the Explorer program, and it is expected to send more invites along in the coming months before the actual launch of its wearable device. So, if you miss this opportunity, don't worry—more will be coming along.
    There Will Be More Opportunities
  • Do Wearable Devices Make Sense?

    Given how small the wearable market is, it's not beyond the realm of possibility that the market never takes off. Granted, analysts are saying that wearables will grow into a huge segment of the market eventually, but so far, customers haven't responded in kind. What's more, we've heard this before about PDAs, netbooks and other seemingly promising technologies that couldn't quite live up to the hype. Before buying into wearables, see how the market goes and whether it has long-lasting appeal. If the wearables market fizzes out, you'll be happy you didn't buy Glass.
    Do Wearable Devices Make Sense?
  • Google Needs to Work Out the Style Factor

    From a style perspective, Google Glass isn't exactly the most beautiful product on the market. Even worse, the company has designed frames for prescription glasses that don't quite hit all the marks on style. If Glass is going to be successful, it needs to be stylish. If it can't solve that problem, it won't succeed.
    Google Needs to Work Out the Style Factor
  • Is There a Privacy Concern?

    There are some concerns with privacy with Google Glass. Some customers argue that it's possible, given all the privacy concerns around the Web, that hackers could eventually find ways to hack into the device through its Web connection and see a person's life in first-person. Whether those concerns are overblown remains to be seen, but it should be noted.
    Is There a Privacy Concern?
  • Cultural Factors

    Some people have been attacked for wearing Google Glass or had the eyewear stolen. Others have gotten police tickets for wearing the technology. The general "culture" hasn't yet accepted Google Glass. And until it does, it might not be the best idea to buy into the eyewear. After all, what good is wearable technology if you worry or feel self-conscious about wearing it?
    Cultural Factors
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

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