Google Glasses look silly and the wearables conference wore me out

Edwin Lap

posted by Edwin Lap 803 days ago.

I was super stoked that Stained Glass Labs put on the inaugural Wearables conference in San Francisco. Wearables has been called the next big thing and I agree – It could very well be.

Welcome to Glazed

wearables conference

We decided that a one day trip would be good, given that Oracle had their annual conference in San Francisco as well.

Hotel rooms started at $ 500 a night – ouch.

The flight out of San Diego was smooth and Southwest was great as usual. I am still surprised how much carry on people take with them, they should just ban it.

The Venue was at Mint Plaza, a beautiful historic building with a lot of heritage and history. In my opinion a great location. The conference was split into two sessions,  Enterprise and Consumer.

The opening remarks were by Owen Thomas, Editor in Chief Read Write web. He admitted like most of us that he was skeptical about glass and wearable technology in general, but added that exciting times are ahead.

The first speaker was Robert Scoble author of the book The Age of Context – I am giving him a plug, because that book is a must read for any techie, strategist, nerd, geek, innovator and entrepreneur.

Screen shot 2013-10-03 at 10.39.51 AM

Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy

This session was the worth the price of admission.

From then onward, I have to be honest, the sessions were mediocre at best. Ironically the context of the sessions did not match the subject matter. People whom say that regular watches are becoming obsolete are high.  The watch industry is a billion dollar business and wont go away any time soon and I prefer a nice Panerai over a pebble smart watch.

panerai watchsmartwatch                              Which one do you prefer?









Honestly, I am a huge tech geek, but I love luxury watches and will continue to do so.

Lunch – Whenever I am in San Francisco, I go to the Embarcadero and enjoy fresh oysters and a glass of wine. Yummy.

A really interesting session was the The Future Of Digital Health Serving Up Body: The Wearable Future. While wearables might not be an option for everyone, the Health Care industry will certainly adopt this technology quickly. Whether doctors and physicians using glass to record surgeries and procedures or using glass to identify patient history, sky is the limit.

The last session that I enjoyed was So-Lo-Mo-Wear – Social, Local and Mobile wear and how to market this new technology. Interestingly enough wearable marketing and monetizing this new technology is facing the same problems that native apps have had over the past 3 years. How do you market this technology and how do you make this profitable? A saturated app store makes it difficult to distinguish the good and bad. Wearable technology will face the same problems. The irony was that the panel  discussed traditional PR to market products and no mention of a digital strategy. I mentioned “Pay per Gaze” tactics and future revenue opportunities, but that was dismissed by the panel. However, a gentleman approached me after the session and mentioned that the lack of marketing people at these conferences was hurting wearable growth.

I believe that there are massive opportunities for marketers down the road and while we are far away from general adoption,to simply ignore this now will only hurt start ups.

So here is my verdict: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Good

Wearables are coming whether you like it or not. There are an incredible amount of smart people working on glass,smart watches and other wearable devices.

Embrace this new technology and stay tuned. If you ignore it, you will be left behind.

The Bad

Early adoption and wearables becoming mainstream will take a while, maybe 5 years. A huge problem is the privacy policy, especially with google glass. Casino’s in Las Vegas already are banning wearing google glass and the Netherlands wont allow people to wear glass while driving. New technology, as innovative as it is, it does always pose problems. We will see what happens in the next few years.

The Ugly

Let’s face it, google glass looks silly. If you think they look great, try and pick up a girl in a bar. She wont go with you. There are several companies like Rconjet that are already taking steps to make them look trendy and cool, so I am hopeful that these will evolve over time.

I am worn out.

Google Glass looks silly











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