Google Glass, the tech giant’s foray into augmented reality and the new wave of mobile computing, is reportedly already stirring up competing products from its rivals.
Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White revealed this morning to Boy Genius Report that during supply chain meetings in Asia, he learned about how Google’s competitors are already developing products to give Google Glass a run for its money.
“Our meetings today indicate that Google glasses (a.k.a., Project Glass) already has competitors working on similar initiatives to improve consumer’s mobility around Internet access,” White wrote. “We expect to hear more about projects such as this and others in the coming years. This could drive a new wave of innovation across the mobility space.”
It might be a stretch to call these competing products “clones” — after all, we don’t really know when development on Glass or any Glass-like products from rivals may have begun, and we don’t know how much future releases from companies like Apple, Samsung, or other manufacturers may emulate Glass’s look and features.
It’s moreover important to note that, far from being a mass market-ready gadget already on production lines, Glass is still very much in its conceptual stages. “We took a few design photos to show what this technology could look like and created a video to demonstrate what it might enable you to do,” wrote Googlers Babak Parviz, Steve Lee, and Sebastian Thrun of the collateral that set the geek world abuzz earlier this week.
Still, Google Glass and anything like it share strong ties to science fiction, the progenitor to so many current marvels of science and technology. Check out the top image on this story — that’s Star Trek: The Next Generation character Wesley Crusher playing a game using augmented reality headgear that overlays a casual game interface on the wearer’s field of vision.
These goofy, geeky AR toys we’re starting to build today were dreamt up long ago by technologists and creatives, and it’s not too surprising that (especially given recent advances in location and other mobile technology) multiple companies and manufacturers are getting the same ideas for similar products at around the same time.
I, for one, welcome our new augmented-reality-headgear-wearing overlords.