The Final Frontier

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“Shattered the barrier between fashion and tech.”

Google Glass was featured in Vogue’s prestigious September 2013 issue as a 12-page spread. Vogue is one of, if not the leading fashion magazine and September issues are the most renowned for their overwhelming message that September is synonymous with shopping. Glass was styled alongside designers such as Gucci and Oscar de la Renta and Vogue editors may be insinuating that Glass is the next it accessory of the future, that can be incorporated into the fashion industry.

The article goes further into exploring the possibilities of Glass once it has made its transition into the hands of the general public.

“With Glass, Google hopes to achieve ubiquitous computing — a constantly accessible digital information source that can be controlled without lifting a finger. As Brin explained in his talk, Glass’s aim is to minimize technological distractions and quickly return users to their immediate surroundings by providing fast access to information. The device — which can take photos, send texts and tweets, and look up information — is voice-operated and intentionally located above the right eye, for quick glances rather than extensive web browsing.” 

The accessibility of the new device is going to help revitalise social interaction within communities. The fashion community is seemingly obsessed with photographing their presence at catwalks and what they see coming down the runway, because of this people tend to only watch through their smart-phones or tablets screens. Unfortunately missing the opportunity to watch the show through their own eyes. Google glass could then be helpful as Google wish to “minimise technological distractions” as well as the “ubiquitous computing” making information or apps readily available at all times. For example, Glass makes it available to silently record a 10 second video which can then be sent to numerous social media sites, all whilst the wearer is watching the catwalk first hand.

Influencing people to use Glass for “quick glances rather than extensive web browsing” may influence people to use the internet for short periods of time rather than spending their time with their phone poised in their hands for long periods of time. This may help revitalise social interaction which appears to have been lost amongst the growth of technology. Controversially, some critics believe it is turning us into cyborgs and thus furthering ourselves into the ‘Innovation of Loneliness’ i.e becoming less socially involved. This is due to the screen being so close to the wearer, and therefore the attraction to use it at all times may be appealing, especially if constant tweets are being notified. Nonetheless, people already use social media sites regularly as well as Google when searching for quick answers or information. Offering a touchpad and “voice operated” systems will allow these users to receive information quicker and allow them to return to their conversation faster.

“If it doesn’t meet a minimum bar for comfort and style, it just doesn’t matter what it will do, Steve Lee, who was involved in the development of Glass” 

Google are aware that the product will be unlikely to appeal to a mass market if it isn’t seen as a coveted stylish design which is “where fashion design comes in. Google recruited Swedish designer Isabelle Olsson to streamline and stylize the device”. There have been numerous rumours surrounding design such as a collaboration with Rayban or Warby Parker but the only current action being taken is within the company through Isabelle Olsson, who I believe has made the style a lot more current.

Isabelle Olsson's stylish designs

Isabelle Olsson’s stylish design

“Glass can be a fashion statement… But the current Glass frames have also been called a fashion faux pas. They have been criticized for looking dorky and futuristic”

Nonetheless, many people involved with the fashion industry are heavily endorsed with or supporting Google Glass such as Vogue and Diane Von Furstenberg. Any new innovation will cause controversy especially ones such as Google Glass which are the first of their kind. Therefore there will be differences of opinions between all demographics.

“Google’s target clientele is the general public”

Google Glass is similar to a mobile phone in the ideal that it has the potential to appeal to the general public through numerous apps and functions but first Google has to endorse the creation of specialised apps to entice all demographics. Once more knowledge is built around Glass, more apps will be created toward niche and larger markets to help with every-day life to larger event organisation. However, currently minimal apps have been created that are compatible with Glass making it difficult to sell the product to a mass market as such a controversial product needs to become a necessity for people to buy into it.

My app will hopefully help both Google sell Glass as well as help event organisers manage their fashion event. With Glass currently only offering possibilities to video, photograph, text and search for information my app will enhance the potential and target market they are currently reaching. It has been made clear that the fashion industry is beginning to accept Glass as a way to help promote the event but if apps offer more help, more event organisers will be willing to spend money on the device. 

“Glass is simply the newest innovation in performance-enhancing wearable technology.”

Google is currently the industry leader in glassware designs involving technology, simply because they are the furthest ahead with production. Therefore if they stay ahead with innovative ideas and create apps which become a necessity, they will remain the industry leader once competitors release their versions.

http://blog.ted.com/2013/09/12/google-glass-in-vogue-how-the-device-is-shattering-the-barrier-between-fashion-and-tech/

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