Even if you had an extra $1500 laying around to burn on a cool new gadget, you still probably couldn't get your hands on Google Glass. The soon-to-be test marketed eye-wear has already taken on legend-like status due to this amazing pre-launch promotional video and the almost instantaneous closing of the company's "Glass Explorer" offer to test drive them. While the high tech world's most innovative new product may not be atop everyone's must-have list, high tech analyst Walter Piecyk of BTIG Research admits he threw his name in the hat.
"It could be a very interesting product," Piecyk says in the attached video, acknowledging that the initial $1500 price-point is not exactly the sweet-spot for "a broad based product." However, he says, "as it drops in price, being able to use and access Google's (GOOG) information services by just wearing glasses would be phenomenal."
Of course, all of this Glass hype comes exactly as Google's cross county rival Apple (AAPL) is reported to be close to bringing its own offering to the soon to be over-crowded wearable tech segment. Multiple reports have suggested that the "iWatch" could be on shelves - and wrists - in the next few months at a fraction of the cost of the Glass.
"A $150 or $200 watch is probably not enough to generate earnings growth," Piecyk says of the iWatch. "The mobile phone business has always been the biggest consumer electronic opportunity," he adds, implying that that is where the humbled heads in Cupertino ought to be applying their energy. "Apple needs to focus on how to get involved in the pre-paid business," he says, and begin to tap into the market for people who can't afford a six or seven hundred dollar phone.
As for the big picture of wearable computing, Piecyk thinks for the short-term, it will be a niche that will speak more to corporate innovation than bottom line rejuvenation. "It's almost a brand issue," he says of the budding wearable trend, suggesting investors weigh whether or not the companies "are creating a buzz" rather than billions.
"This was unthinkable ten years ago," he says, but now is within reach.
- Technology & Electronics