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Google Glass launches new age of personal computing

July 5, 2012 06:04 AM ET

King said he expects there will be great demand for what he calls "mobile computing lifestyle choices" in a few years.

"It would not surprise me if we see a lot of this in, say, five years," he noted. "As the technology becomes more sophisticated and cheaper, it becomes something everybody can afford."

"Some years ago, a smartphone like the Blackberry was considered something that only business professionals needed. It doesn't seem farfetched to think we could see Google Glass widely adopted in five years," King added.

Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Enderle Group, pointed out that Google Glass or other wearable computers could be very useful in many workplaces -- not just the next big thing to help users look cool or geeky.

"They could be used regularly for things like taking inventory in warehouses, and for tasks on factory floors and other places where folks need to use computers and their hands at the same time," Enderle said.

At the Google I/O conference, the company said it is offering prototype versions of Google Glass, dubbed the Google Glass Explorer Edition, to developers for $1,500. Brin said he expects the glasses to be generally available in 2014 -- at a lower price.

"If the developer community can come up with interesting solutions, the sky's the limit," said King.

Enderle said that wearable computers could be a big step toward a new generation of compute form factors that can be embedded inside the human body.

Putting aside visions of Star Trek's Borg initiative, Moorhead and Enderle agreed that wearable computers are a bridge to the first such computer implants.

"It's an interim step toward imbedding computers into people and creating some kind of biomechanical interface that bypasses the eyes," Enderle said, adding that he believes that computer generation is some 25 to 50 years away.

"The change we are working toward ... is one of the big changes we will see in computing this century. It will redefine personal computing by the time it has fully matured," he added.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at Twitter@sgaudin, or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed Gaudin RSS. Her e-mail address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

Read more about Emerging Technologies in Computerworld's Emerging Technologies Topic Center.



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