News Byte: Google Glass Hits the Streets Today

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Google Glass gets off the mark, but will it have legs?
Google Glass gets off the mark, but will it have legs?

Today is Tax Day, but it's also the first day that regular citizens will be able to purchase Google Glasses. Whether the wearable search engine/camera/emailer leads to the creation of a new consumer touchpoint or just the passage of innumerable municipal laws regulating the ambulatory operation of them remains to be seen.

Perhaps it's no coincidence that Google chose today to release its $1,500 cyborgian fashion accessories, since many people will have tax refunds burning holes in their pockets. Until now, Google Glass has been the sole possession of “Explorers”-- developers and other marketplace influencers chosen to put the supercharged spectacles through their paces. Google is making only a limited number of Glasses available today, and they're sure to be snapped up by early adopters. It remains to be seen, however, if their appeal will range far beyond that group.

A study of 1,600 U.S. and U.K. consumers by Gfk last October learned that 40% of 16- to 24-year-olds found connected eyeglasses appealing, yet their intent to purchase fell by almost two thirds after they learned how much they—and other wearables like watches—cost.

“Google Glass could make the promise of location-based marketing a reality, however it's not immediately obvious that Glass will have any success beyond the early adopters,” says Marc Poirier, EVP, Business Development of Acquisio. “This sale should help gauge interest beyond the ‘in' crowd and tell us a lot about the future of Glass.”

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