Smart Glasses are the latest craze in the world of wearable tech. We will review each smart glass available today, including the newest entrant, Jio Glass.
However, it is important to note that the market for these products is still unproven.
The right product strategy is necessary to make the smart glass product a success.
Smart glasses have been a buzzword for a few years now. However, the product roadmap continues to remain hazy.
Let us examine some of the top contenders to see where each smart glass stands.
With the growing importance of video calls, using this wearable tech may soon become an essential part of effective communication.
Reliance Jio Glass
The Jio Glass was announced on 16 July, 2020.
The announcement came during the annual general shareholder meeting (AGM) of Reliance Industries.
Traditionally, Reliance has been a petrochemical conglomerate.
How can an oil company pivot to technology? Well, the transition didn’t happen overnight.
Reliance Jio was launched initially as a telecom company with the aim to provide affordable smartphone and dirt cheap data.
Jio was a phenomenal success. And now, Reliance is pivoting Jio to become a tech major.
Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance, has plans to make Reliance less dependent on oil.
Jio Glass is the next step in this direction. This pivot is also a great example of implementing agile methodology at such a grand scale.
Let us now examine the Jio smart glass.
But first, here is the official JioGlass launch video.
The Jio Glass promises to help in video conferencing by providing a more realistic experience.
In fact, even the video promotes this smart glass as an essential tool for effective team management.
Since many people are working from home because of the pandemic, the idea is that video conferencing needs to now go to the next level.
But, isn’t that what Google Glass tried to do? Hasn’t this already been tried before? Well, yes and no.
It is all a question about timing and finding the right product market fit.
Yes, smart glasses have been launched before.
But, maybe now is the right time to actually start using one.
Google Glass was the original kid on the block.
It was launched with a lot of fanfare in 2012 with commercial availability by mid-2013. But, the Google Glass never really captured the user imagination.
The wearable tech didn’t really take off.
There was immense potential and genuine use cases in healthcare, education, etc.
Based on an effective product feedback loop, Google Glass enterprise edition 2 was launched in mid 2019.
However, there are many explanations as to why the product did not capture the mass market.
First, the use cases were highly specialized and not targeted at the mass market.
Second, the marketing of the product focussed on the tech, and not so much on the design.
But, Google is a great company and it will definitely come out with something that takes the market by storm.
Google has a great engineering team and they definitely know how to optimize their software development life cycle (SDLC).
And yes, it will probably use Google’s OKR strategy!
Apple, on the other hand, likes to focus more on the design and less on the tech.
The Apple Glass is probably the most anticipated product launch from Apple after the success of the Apple Watch.
Apple products are known to possess a certain style element that captures the user’s imagination.
This holds true for all the recent Apple product categories.
The Apple iPhone was a game changer in 2007. The other phones in the market, even though they may have been technologically superior, did not capture user’s imagination the way the iPhone did.
The marketing of these products focuses on the aethetic design, and not so much on the underlying technology.
And this is what makes Apple products a design or a style accessory, and not necessarily an engineering or a technical accessory.
The ever reliable tech rumour industry has immense information on the Apple Glass.
The main point to note is that the Apple Glass may not come with a video camera for privacy reasons. There would be QR scanners and other such scanners that would display information on the glass display, but that’s pretty much it.
Also, these leaks provide a wealth of information on the specs. So much so, that the official announcement is simply a formality!
When looking at the design principles of Apple, it is clear that Apple is a firm believer in the KISS Principle!
Conclusion – Jio Glass vs Google Glass vs Apple Glass
That was a review of the top smart glasses that are currently available or will soon be available in the market.
Only time will tell which product is a success and which product is a failure.
Currently, the entire product category of smart glasses are considered a part of the top product fails of all time.
But, the product life cycle is a funny thing. You never know what product eventually clicks.
It is the responsibility of a product manager to efficiently manage the product life cycle.
Carefully focussing on a use case and identifying the right niche and the right target audience is critical for the success of any product.
More often than not, it takes exceptional leadership qualities by a product manager, to make a product successful.
Finding the right opportunity, and grabbing it at the right time is an art.
On a side note, it is great to see so much innovation in the tech world. With so many people working from home, great change is only a question of if, not when. Such moments in history are rare and are great catalysts for successfull entrepreneurs.
The recent surge in the market for alternative apps to TikTok is another case in point.
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