What Google Glass has Learnt from the Apple Watch about Wearables
So the Apple Watch is out… don’t know if you knew. It’s come out to mixed reviews, some people saying it’s great hardware that just needs improved software, others saying it’s just a hot mess. What’s for certain is that the world knows about it and people are wanting to buy one. It’s Apple, whatever product they bring out, the market the heck out of it and eventually it will sell.
Google Glass is a project by Google that they attempted to do the same thing, but it never really took off and that’s for quite a few reasons. We wanted to highlight here today a few reasons why it never took and why the Apple Watch has and what Google Glass has learnt from the Apple Watch about wearables.
Image Is Key
There’s certainly one thing that Apple is the undoubted king of and that is image. Apple create the sexiest laptops, the sexiest phones, the sexiest computers, the sexiest tablets and there’s simply no question about that. Even the most die-hard Samsung, Windows, Android and HTC fans have to hold up their hands and say that Apple’s version looks better than theirs more often than not.
Image is where Google Glass fell far from short. Google were too keen on making sure that Google Glass was useful before making it was sexy. The Apple Watch has almost done the opposite, it’s got far-from-great software but is sexy and so people will buy the initial version and will think it’s a desirable option and that will gain popularity; then the more intelligent people will wait the undoubtedly improved second generation device.
Find Your Audience
When it came to the Apple Watch, Apple looked towards who their target audiences were and offered a watch for everybody. There’s the basic rubber-banded Apple Watch Sport which most of the population will buy which sits at around the same price as most other smartwatches. Then you have the regular Apple Watch with a metal band that offers a more premium feel for a couple more hundred bucks, then the final Apple Watch Edition which offers the very high-end market the smartwatch they desire.
Google Glass offered the ‘Explorer’ edition which was $1,500. That is all. Google Glass didn’t research that some people may want cheaper materials if it meant they could get their hands on the device as opposed to the more expensive materials, aiming it more towards high-end laptop prices. It just didn’t make much sense. On Google’s defence, the technology inside probably made the Google Glasses that expensive but then either undersell them and make up for it with an App Market or delay the launch of the device until the parts were cheaper to manufacture.
Let Them Try It First
One thing Apple has reiterated with their Apple Watch is that they want people to try the device out before they buy, to make sure it’s exactly what they want. The Apple Watch is definitely Apple’s most confusing mobile device to date offering two ways to navigate and a completely different OS to what Apple fans are used to. Therefore, Apple ask that you let them show you a 15-minute demonstration ad teach you how to use the watch before you make your final purchase, to ensure the customer knows the proper uses of the watch.
Google Glass had nothing of this nature. Google’s main reason for this is that Glass could only be purchased online and for a premium price. This means that it’s not even an acceptable price to give up for the chance to play with the device and then return it. If Google is to bring back Google Glass then they should advertise to the world how the device works and what the benefits are.
Market The Heck Out Of It
On that last note, marketing is a key part of making sure a device is in front of people’s eyes wherever they turn. Apple, without a doubt, have the best advertising in the world and this is partly down to their huge budget, but also because of the incredible amount of research they do into the reactions of their users. The Apple Watch has been advertised as the most personal device yet; it’s advertised for keeping fit, speeding up your work day, chatting easier with friends and other things.
Google Glass on the other hand, had little marketing. In fact, despite the device’s popularity, there were two main marketing campaigns for the device that were notable. The first was the initial device of a concept world in which you could walk around and Google Glass would be aware of everything you do and would be like having your phone in the corner of your eye. The second campaign was when Google Glass was jumped out of a plane, ridden on a bike and more into a Google I/O conference which most of the world wouldn’t have seen unless tuned in on the internet.
The next version of Google Glass is expected in Spring of 2016 and we expect to see Google try a completely different approach. With the public pull of the original device from the market, Google will have to sell and advertise this device completely differently. It’ll have to either find the niche who will buy the device or they’ll have to bring out more options for the lower-end market. The Apple Watch has come out and introduced the whole western world to the concept of smart watches, expect to see big announcements from Motorola, LG, Sony and others on their second generation devices become bigger news for the mainstream. Also expect to see Google work harder to get Google Glass on your faces.