The iPhone, I've been told about a gazillion times, changed everything. I've never been quite sure what everything meant in any of the contexts where that particular hyperbole has been used, but I do know that Apple and its smartphone competitors have altered the way we use technology.
The advent of the smartphone meant that some technologies (watches, GPS devices, etc.) went from important to rarely seen or used. It's within this context that I find myself assessing predictions that Google Glass will somehow make smartphones less relevant, if not altogether irrelevant.
Google's wearable computing device has techies abuzz.
"I love it for no other reason than that it actually feels like we are being pulled forward," Ian Shafer, CEO of Deep Focus, told Adweek. "It's hard to say that something like that has happened since the iPhone. The innovation aspect just makes it seem like a big pull forward."
Count Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg among those wanting their own Google Glass, according to Forbes. "I can't wait to get my own," Mr. Zuckerberg is quoted by the magazine.
So what does Google Glass do? According to the website that Google has set up to introduce the technology, it will act as a camera, video recorder, video conferencing tool, direction finder, foreign language translator and more. It will be strong, light and fashionable — in an extremely "Big Bang Theory" sort of way.
To build buzz for the product, Google is asking consumers to use Google+ or Twitter to share what they would do if they had a Glass. A select number of those entering will be given the option to pre-order a Glass Explorer for $1,500.
One potential drawback to Google Glass is the style. Will people think the device looks cool enough to wear?
"If my buyer came to me and said he just purchased 1000 units that looked like the Google Glass he would be fired," Jonathan Muller, CEO of eyewear retailer Gaffos.com, told Wired.
Mr. Muller added that while futuristic looking, Google Glass would not appeal to many outside of technology types in Silicon Valley and elsewhere.
"It's taken a futuristic approach in design, not something I would call 'in style'," he said. "At this point the Google Glass will not appeal to the mainstream (it just seems like a forehead mounted live camera) and might be relegated to the tech crowd in Silicon Valley and New York."
How much more or less of an effect will Google Glass have on how we use technology as compared to Apple's iPhone?