Recently, I made the difficult decision not to purchase Google Glass. I detailed some of the reasons, which mostly involves “bang for buck” considerations. I haven’t regretted my decision.
The fact is, wearable technology has some big obstacles to overcome before it’s ready for mass consumer consumption. Of course, part of the problem stems from common misperceptions about Glass and its abilities, but more particularly from its overall aesthetic appeal — Glass Explorers are called “Glassholes” — and lack of extendable functions.
Certainly there are some non-Glasshole uses for Glass, such as how this North Carolina firefighter is developing a useful Glass app for firefighters:
Or this story about how Glass enables a disabled New York law student:
And this story.
But Glass still lacks any real appeal, especially when we discuss whether the device can actually be more useful than your cell phone or tablet.
Let me affirm that I’m not a proponent of banning Glass, especially for law firms. I believe that Glass has a very real and beneficial place in the future of legal technology. The problem is there are many limitations right now.
That said, the future of wearable tech looks promising, as a few of my Google+ colleagues pointed out in response to one of my posts:
I think Damien Riehl and Paul McGuire each pointed out the particular useful aspects of wearable technology. Damien praise Google Glass and points out that “[wearables] reduce the time between intention and action (much like Google reduced that time for Web searching).” Similarly, Paul mentions that “having something that can be quickly turned on and paired with your device is very useful,” and “Glass and other wearable tech are similar but more convenient because you always have them on you when you want to use it. The key to convenience in tech is having something that you can quickly use when you need it and put away when you are done without adding any additional trouble.”
Damien and Paul really tackle the ultimate usefulness of Google Glass and other wearable technologies. Certainly, even though the technology functions much like a phone or tablet, the peripheral enables us to move outside of our bounds, freeing our hands for other tasks.
I’m confident that time will be the truest test as to whether wearables survive. Perhaps, as Sam Glover surmises, ultimately, Glass will become like the Segway, useful to some, but irrelevant to most.
What do you think is the future for Glass and other tech wearables in the legal tech industry? Let’s discuss this in the comments.