Why Moto 360 Will Kill Google Glass

In November of 2013, I became a Google Glass Explorer. Part of this endeavor involved forking over $1,500 and tax for a technology device that was still in beta. The hardware was beyond prototype, but not in the mass production scale that would be necessary for worldwide distribution.

Just a few years ago, smart watches such as those made by Sony and Pebble were very limited in their functionality, battery life and technical specifications. When Project Glass was announced in 2012, it was seen as a revolutionary technology. It was wearable computing to the next level. Google Glass enabled people to have the information they “needed” in the corner of their eye and gave them instant access to the world wide web with just a simple voice command.

In theory, the technology is great. However, in practice, it’s a different story.

I have been a Glass Explorer for just shy of six months and I have to admit that I (like many other Glass Explorers) use the technology much less than I ever thought I would and here’s why:

Battery Life: Most of the applications for Google Glass can be a battery hog. However, with “regular” use throughout the day, I can usually squeeze a good 6-8 hours of casual use before the battery is depleted. Many of the augmented reality applications such as World Lens, require a lot of battery use because they involve the use of the camera, display, wireless data and heavy processor use. Doing something as simple as taking a video can deplete the device’s battery in just 20-30 minutes. Granted, Glass isn’t designed or intended to record long form content, but more or less “moments” which is why the device records 10 second video clips by default.

Security “Issues”: Many workplaces will not allow the use of Google Glass because of exposure to sensitive information and PII (Personally Identifiable Information). I would not be surprised to see if the PCI standards change to ban the use of wearable cameras in areas where employees are able to see credit card numbers. Sadly, most of the concerns about Glass are around it’s camera, which brings me to my next point.

Social Acceptance: Wearing a computer on your face is about as acceptable as riding a Segway around your office. The simple truth is that we aren’t there yet. The fact that we recently learned about the largest government surveillance scandal in recorded history doesn’t help either. People feel that their privacy has been invaded enough by companies reading their e-mail, governments listening to their phone calls and more surveillance cameras than we realize. Until these fears are settled, wearing around a camera on your face will remain a faux pas in many settings.

Reliability: Google Glass is not reliable. Plain and simple. Switching between Bluetooth and Wifi data is never seamless. The device is incapable of connecting to Wifi networks that require TOS agreements or have any sort of splash page login method. If you leave the device turned off and unplugged for a period of time, the battery mysteriously depletes itself. The most frustrating reliability issue is related to connectivity. You can have Google Glass successfully paired to an LTE device with great signal strength and still see the dreaded “can’t reach Google right now” message.

 Google Glass can't reach Google now error message

Moto 360 Won’t Have These Problems

The most exciting thing about the Moto 360 is that it won’t have most of the problems that I encounter on a daily basis with Google Glass. First of all, it’s on my wrist, so it’s much less conspicuous than a face-mounted computer. This definitely helps us in the social acceptance arena, and makes it a wearable that I’m comfortable wearing everywhere (except maybe not the shower). Battery life may be a problem, but not in a way that it is for Glass. I expect overnight charging for my smart watch and would love to see wireless Qi charging integration to make that process just a little bit easier.

Better App Development

I don’t think I’m alone in assuming that there will be more and better apps designed for wrist-mounted wearables. Although the Android Wear platform may look completely analogous to Glassware, it’s a much more practical form factor which means more users and more potential for success of any certain app. Also, apps can be designed to work on a number of devices, not just Motorola’s upcoming offering. Developing for a multi-device platform is a no-brainer when compared to developing for a single device on a different framework.

Sex Appeal

Men love watches. It’s really the only jewelry that most guys wear, and a lot can be inferred by the watch someone wears. For example, during the work week, I wear a Seiko stainless steel watch with a black face and very minimalist design. It shows that I am polished, responsible and punctual. On the weekends I like to wear a leather-banded “easy read” by Timex that is reminiscent of a standard GI watch from decades before.

With the ability to instantly change the face of your watch and select a stylish band, this wearable becomes less of a computer and more of an accessory.


With Moto 360, you don’t have to brag to the world that you’re wearing a computer. A fringe benefit of this design is safety, as we recently learned from the woman wearing Google Glass that was allegedly mugged inside of a San Francisco bar.

Affordability & Luxury

$1,500 was a lot of money to thrown down on a prototype. Especially something that won’t get daily wear. I don’t expect that Google Glass will dip below $800 any time soon, either. Moto 360, on the other hand, is likely to come to the market with a sub-$500 price tag. The competition in the market will surely help keep prices down as other manufacturers continue to innovate.

However, as in the world of watches, history tells us that consumers will spend thousands of dollars for a rare timepiece. If any of the major watch makers join the game, we might see an emergency of luxury smart watches which will only drive more consumers in the middle class to pick up a lower priced model.

I wanted Glass when it was announced. It was new, it was fresh and it was unexplored territory in the real world. Now that I’ve seen Moto 360, I see elements some elements of Glass that I love that will fit much better into my daily life.

*Image ©2014 Motorola Mobility LLC

My First Days with Google Glass

This is part 1 of a 3 part series.

A couple of months ago, you could have called me a skeptic. I didn’t really see the value in paying $1,500 and a trip to New York or San Francisco for something that was still in beta. If anything, I thought Google should be paying us to wear it. I watched some of the first explorers and noticed the issues they were dealing with (poor battery life, equipment failure, etc.). I wondered why anyone would want to spend so much money on something that had such limited functionality.

When the #ifihadglass campaign initially rolled out, I thought it was a really great idea, but felt I would need some groundbreaking idea in order to get an initial invite. As it turned out, you just had to have a somewhat good idea, $1,500 in your pocket and the ability to travel to NYC or SFO to pick them up. I watched a lot of my connections from Google+ score the initial invitations and watched with envy as they traveled to the closest coast to get fitted for their Glass.

As the Explorer program with +Google Glass continued to grow, I watched more and more people taking the device out in public, testing the sociological response form wearing Glass and attempting new and different applications. On the surface though, it just looked like a bunch of geeks (sorry, +Robert Warren) posting pictures of their driveway with the current temperature superimposed over it—something that could be easily accomplished with a smartphone five years ago.

As time rolled by, I convinced myself that getting Glass wouldn’t be worth it for it. I made myself think that I really didn’t need it and wouldn’t be able to do anything worthwhile with it. Then, out of nowhere, my good friend+Derek Ross gave me the opportunity to get in. No longer would I need to have to fly to one of Google’s offices to get fitted. All I needed to do was provide my payment information and wait by the mailbox.

I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t force myself to pay $1,500 for something that seemed so useless to me.

Then one day everything changed. An acquaintance I met online, +Robert Warren, scored a pair of glass and we joked for months about me trying it out. Finally, we met for dinner with +Shaker Cherukuri and afterwards he let me try it on. I was absolutely amazed. I could not believe the clarity of the display, the clarity of the sound, the speed of the device and the many purposes that he was able to demonstrate in my short demo. In just a few minutes he turned a skeptic into a believer.

That night I got online and tried to turn over every rock I could find on the Internet to get myself an invitation code. Finally, after “begging” to the Glass Gods, +Chris Pick and +Kelvin Williams came along and threw me the invitation that got me into the Explorers program. I immediately jumped online and consulted with my family on which pair to buy. We decided Shale would be the best fit with my wardrobe and to “blend” in perhaps more than Sky or Tangerine.

So, now after a few days I’m starting to formulate some opinions on this new tool (not a toy) and how it is going to be beneficial for my life and my career…

This is the first of three posts which will tell you more about my experience. I wanted to start out with the backstory. Stay tuned tomorrow for the next part of the series and photos from today’s Glass Meetup.