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Google begins selling Glass to music subs; Himax rallies

  • Google (GOOG +0.7%) has begun offering the first version of Google Glass (provided earlier this year to a limited number of developers/enthusiasts) to certain subscribers of its All Access music subscription service. But for now, the display glasses are still priced at a steep $1,500.
  • Glass' full commercial launch is expected in early 2014, and will likely be accompanied by a price cut. Ahead of the launch, Google has been busy creating a developer ecosystem, and plenty of businesses have been coming up with use cases. At the same time, concerns about privacy (stemming from Glass' built-in camera) and social discomfort haven't gone away.
  • Wired's Mat Honan has provided a mixed review of Glass after using it for a year. He notes the product created a lot of social tension - "Again and again, I made people very uncomfortable. That made me very uncomfortable." - and refrained from wearing it in many public settings.
  • At the same time, Honan is a big fan of Glass' Google Now integration - "[Now's] ambient location awareness, combined with previous Google searches, means extremely relevant notifications come to your attention in a way they just can’t on a smartphone." - and states Glass made him "hate" using his phone due to the social withdrawal it produces.
  • Honan: "Glass, and the other things like it, won’t always be ugly and awkward ... The future is on its way, and it is going to be on your face."
  • Glass microdisplay supplier Himax (HIMX +4.7%) is rallying for the second day in a row. Shares have made new highs, and are closing out the year up 519%.
Comments (6)
  • albersdg
    , contributor
    Comments (79) | Send Message
     
    This is why Google Goggles will be a dud:

     

    "Wired's Mat Honan has provided a mixed review of Glass after using it for a year. He notes the product created a lot of social tension - "Again and again, I made people very uncomfortable. That made me very uncomfortable." - and refrained from wearing it in many public settings."

     

    You can write all the positive, optimistic, uplifting articles you want, but if people don't want it or like it and the user has to take it off and not use it on top of the $1,800 or $1,000 or $600 or $300 for a pair of goggles, it will die.
    31 Dec 2013, 03:26 PM Reply Like
  • Stock Market Mike
    , contributor
    Comments (1843) | Send Message
     
    Cellphones originally created such social tension, and then smartphones did too with their cameras.

     

    Clearly they are doomed.
    31 Dec 2013, 04:05 PM Reply Like
  • Rope a Dope
    , contributor
    Comments (531) | Send Message
     
    Cellphones never invaded my privacy. I think that's the reason people are uncomfortable around the device and it has been banned from a few establishments already. It's just something else for the NSA to tap into.
    31 Dec 2013, 04:42 PM Reply Like
  • buyandhold???
    , contributor
    Comments (882) | Send Message
     
    yes glass will be such a dud at $399 or $499 that tons of people are paying $1,500 right now for a pair
    31 Dec 2013, 09:10 PM Reply Like
  • Stock Market Mike
    , contributor
    Comments (1843) | Send Message
     
    But if you remember far far back (late last century), cellphones were not very popular in public. People were regarded as quite rude for using them, and often frowned upon. It certainly had a social stigma attached.

     

    And when the iPhone/Smartphone first came out, in a lot of places (not silicon valley - but other 'normal' places) those words became dirty - something to sneer at - before everyone realized they wanted one because they were useful.

     

    It takes a few years for sentiment to shift... probably some new permissions laws will have to be created. Something to deal with unlawful recording... But we're already under government surveillance in many areas, so why not add other people to the mix? People are less likely to abuse it than government and corporations are. And if they do, they'll abuse it for petty things like humiliating someone, which laws and courts will hopefully be able to deal with.
    1 Jan, 11:09 AM Reply Like
  • haschultz
    , contributor
    Comments (607) | Send Message
     
    Keep in mind that there are various uses for Google Glasses..........and then Gaming Googles and Virtual Reality Glasses.

     

    But, as per Google Glasses, there are lots of non-personal use of them in the business world where they can greatly aid business.

     

    Think anyone needing reference documents (mechanics, carpenters, builders, machinsts, bakers, etc., etc.) who would be much more productive with Google Glasses while invading no one's pricacy.

     

    Think of police and others who can now take video and focus it where they want.........while recording sound.............and being in communications. There is also a facial recongition App which would be helpful for the police. There is also an App to read signs so they would only need to look at a license plate and driver's license to send them to a database and get information in return. All great time savers and thus they will get adoped.

     

    So, those who doubt Google Glasses only lack imagination.

     

    As for privacy, see YouTube as you lost your privacy years ago.

     

    Finally, read the tear down report from August which showed the bill of goods at $194 ($25 for HIMX LCoS display) with an additional $15 for asembly and packaging. so, that is ~$210 before advertising, shipping, etc. so $399 price point is very doable and profitable.

     

    And, it is not whether you or I buy these. It is whether they make people more productive and they will.

     

    But, as per HIMX, they will see into the Gaming Market as it makes games more immersive. Besdies Gaming Goggles freeing up your HDTV for family use, they can allow you to turn your head and see another perspective in the game (cop car with siren on, someone sneaking up on your) which can not be done on an HDTV as turning your head then means you can't see the screen.

     

    Read the reviews on the Oculus Rift for examples.

     

    As for HIMX and LCoS, they are also now developing smaller LCoS arrays for cameras so you can get more resolution without needing more expensive lens optics.
    1 Jan, 10:34 PM Reply Like
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