For this week’s lesson in false equivalencies, let’s go to the Forbes contributor network and home for helper monkey school dropouts. Ian Altman wants to explain “Why Google Glass Failed And Why Apple Watch Could Too.” (Tip o’ the antlers to @JonyIveParody.)
“Could.” OK. It’s possible. But the thing is, Glass isn’t really a good case study for the Apple Watch for a lot of reasons. For example, did you know you don’t wear watches on your face? It’s true. Also, the Watch isn’t a threat to be taking video or snapshots of people at any given moment, inasmuch as it doesn’t take video or snapshots. So a lot of the social objections that dropped Glass like an overweight boxer just aren’t a problem for the Watch.
Just to be clear, Google Glass didn’t fail because of the technology, rather because it wasn’t clear to the customer what problem it solved or why they needed it.
That’s not exactly right. Glass has pretty clear applications for certain markets, it’s just that the consumer market wasn’t one of them.
From this “trying not to break the surface tension on a swimming pool full of Jell-O while wearing ice skates” footing, Altman goes full equivalence.
Sure, Google Glass is cool. Apple Watch is slick.
They’re almost the same when you equate them! See how easy that is? Two peas in an ill-defined pod!
Despite recent insistance that looking at a watch is like the worst thing ever—possibly worse than looking at a smartphone which was previously associated with social atrocities like consuming live hamsters in a movie theater and suggesting white supremacists may have “something to add to the conversation”—wearing a watch is quite socially acceptable. Wearing a camera on your face is not.
Back in the late 1990s or early 2000s, you could get away with cool or slick without a defined purpose.
Really? Somebody tell that to the Newton.
Actually, don’t. The Newton’s been through enough.
The early adopters bought into Google Glass. Diehard Apple fans can’t wait to show off their Apple Watch.
They’re the same! Virtually indistinguishable! Right. How many Glass units did Google ship? At $1,500 a pop, it wasn’t a lot. Apple probably sold more than 2 million watches in its first weekend. These things are not comparable. They are incomparable, which is not like inflammable, in that it doesn’t mean the same thing.
Why They Failed
WHY THE APPLE WATCH FAILED. That is a thing you can read on the Internet right now. The Macalope doesn’t know why you would if you’re not a glutton for punishment like he is, but you could.
Google Glass failed to help consumers understand why they needed such a device.
Well, unless what they needed was a punch in the face. “Do you need a punch in the face? Then, here, put these on. This is the user experience you’ve been waiting for.”
With a recent move to larger and larger screens for users, it might be a risky move for Apple to shift its focus to a user interface the size of a watch face.
[Blank, 10,000-yard stare into the empty, soulless void of the universe. No solace is found. Somewhere a wolf howls. A child grows old and dies. The stars move in an uncaring dance of infinite callous disregard.]
Two years from now the Macalope fully expects we’ll be hearing about phabwatches. Or watchlets. Whatever they’re called, Apple will be doomed for not making a watch that takes up your whole forearm.
In the case of early adopters of Google Glass or Apple Watch, the consumer may have purchased because they wanted the next cool thing.
The Apple Watch has been out for less than a week and already Altman feels that it’s failed because it was just a fad.
Google created the best wearable solution.
No! It didn’t! That’s why people didn’t like Glass. We can argue about whether or not Apple has, but it’s already clear that people have pretty resoundingly rejected Glass as a consumer device. Some with their fists.
It’s unclear through this column whether Altman has even tried an Apple Watch. Seeing a lot of opinion pieces about the Watch this week from people who haven’t tried it yet.
Does Apple need to go a bit further with showing people why they need a Watch? Quite possibly. It’s not as easy to understand as the iPhone was because we all already had phones that we hated, even if we didn’t know it. If you want to suggest Apple needs to hone its messaging, that’s fine. But comparing the Watch to Google Glass? Nope.