Smart Glasses “To Stay Niche Until 2018”

Don’t bet on Google Glass to kickstart adoption of smart glasses, Juniper Research warns

Widespread adoption of so-called ‘smart glasses’ devices such as Google Glass will struggle to take off – at least for the next few years, a new report has predicted.

Despite the initial notoriety surrounding Google Glass, the total number of smart glasses devices will struggle to take off due to the lack of a concrete customer base and the length of time taken to get products on the market, Juniper Research has stated.

In its Consumer, Enterprise & Healthcare Strategies & Forecasts 2014-2019 report, the firm has predicted that less than ten million smart glasses devices will be sold each year up to 2017.

This is in spite of several major retailers, including Samsung, Recon Instruments and Osterhout Design Group, indicating that they would be launching such devices within the next two years.

Google Glass teddy bear © Hattanas Kumchai / Shutterstock.comNiche

Concerns over the safety and privacy of the devices were seen to be the main hindrance to mainstream adoption, with Google Glass in particular coming under scrutiny from US lawmakers on several occasions recently.

However, the prohibitively high price of such devices (Google Glass currently retails in the UK for £1000) was also seen as a negative factor towards widespread adoption, meaning that the devices will likely remain a niche product over the next few years.

The report states that most investment into the smart glasses market will come from enterprise, as they look to best use such devices, as opposed to the everyday consumer, much like the smartphone space in the early 2000s.

Due to the existing capabilities constructed by Google, Android devices are likely to remain the most popular form of smart glass, although Samsung’s upcoming launch should introduce the company’s Tizen operating system into the market.

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