I was just reading a post from fellow digital guy, and agency neighbor Terry Lozoff over at Antler, about his trepidation when it comes to wearing Google Glass in public.
Which on the surface, I totally get. When I got my invite code for Glass, I was quickly shamed out of it by most of my friends. All of which generally came with the same line of reasoning that Terry outlines:
Glass has the potential to change the way we function as humans. It symbolizes the promise of a new era in communications, in content creation, and in day-to-day living. What it lacks, however, is subtlety… or, that element of “fitting in.”
But what I think everyone is missing here, is that Google Glass is supposed to look weird. It’s supposed to stand out. It’s supposed to elicit stares and questions and strange looks.
Google could have very easily partnered up with Warby Parker, and made Glass look like this (and they likely will at some point):
But Google Glass is for the early adopters. And part of being an early adopter, is letting people know that you are an early adopter. It’s not about blending in. It’s about standing out in ways that show people, that you are on the bleeding edge. That you are ahead of the curve.
Remember the Honda Insight? When it came out in 1999, it was one of the first true hybrid-electric vehicles put out by a major auto manufacturer, and it looked like this.
It was meant to stand out, and look like a spaceship. It was meant to cause curiosity and put drivers in the position of looking like the forward-thinking futurists they wanted to be perceived as. It was meant to cause other people to ask “what is that?”, just so they’d have a chance to tell them.
Some fifteen years on, the Honda Insight and the Toyota Prius still hang on to a bit of that “look at me” style, as both models are still for the green-types that want to be seen as green types. But as we’ve reached mass acceptance of hybrid automobiles, and as the technology has become commonplace, so has the design.
The shift in hybrid car design is now about blending in. And at some point, the same will be said for wearables like Glass.