Last week in class, we had the opportunity to explore/try on Google Glass. Google glass is essentially just what it sounds like; a wearable eye glass technology that was designed to act like a “small-market ubiquitous computer.” Released to the public in April 2013 (product announced in April 2012), Google Glass hit the market for about $1500 a piece. Unfortunately Google Glass never quite caught on. Business analysts critiqued that consumers never fully understood what Google Glass was or why they needed and chalked it up to bad marketing. Now in 2015, Samsung has learned from Google Glass and announced their application for a permit for a wearable glasses technology with two cameras to project 3D images and screens in mid air.
Samsung has taken Google Glass idea a step further. Dubbed the “Galaxy Glass”, Samsung plans to have their wearable technology project 3D images and screens onto physical real life objects such as tables, blank note books, or body parts. Once projected, the images would be touchable. For example, if a consumer wanted to make a phone call, they could project the keypad onto their hand and using the other hand, touch the keypad image to dial a number. Samsung believes consumers will be able to use the Galaxy Glass for a number of different functions such as calls, texts, playing music or even playing the piano. Projectable apps have the potential to revolutionize technology as we know it.
The technology Samsung is using for Galaxy Glass is called “SixthSense”. A PhD student at MIT named Pranav Mistry developed the technology in 2009. In a TedTalk given by Pranav in 2009, he discusses the potential of “Sixth Sense” and compares it to a “paradigm-shifting paper laptop.” At the end of his talk, Pranav makes an important point about how we are as a society now and how wearable technology with projectable apps can change that. He notes “we will no longer be machines sitting in front of machines.” You can watch Pranav talk about SixthSense here. https://www.ted.com/talks/pranav_mistry_the_thrilling_potential_of_sixthsense_technology
So can Galaxy Glass really succeed where Google Glass failed? Business analysts seem to think so. By taking the wearable technology a step further and adding the interactive screens, users are almost guaranteed to be more interested. SixthSense with not only change the physical world, but the way we interact with each other. However, this wearable technology will come at a cost. Estimated retail rates far surpass the $1500 of the Google Glass. While Samsung is the first to announce plans to create a wearable technology with SixthSense, many sources note that they have only applied for a patent and not yet received it.