Google is planning retail stores to sell its internet-connected glasses, Google Glass, we’ve heard second-hand from a source.
Our source tells us he knows someone that is working at Google to develop the Glass stores. This person apparently meets with Sergey Brin to plot out the stores.
When asked about on this story, Google said, “we don’t plan to comment on rumour or speculation.”
Previous reports said Google was developing its own stores, just like Apple and Microsoft have retail operations. Those earlier reports said Google was going to sell all sorts of stuff.
Our source indicated that Google was looking to create stores specifically for Glass. These Glass stores would put the Glass brand front and centre. They would help customers get set up with Glass.
This is a second-hand source, so treat it with some scepticism. It could be someone over-talking their role in Google’s overall retail plans. Or, it could be someone blabbing about an early-stage idea that’s being kicked around in Google.
However, we think there’s a good chance it’s real. We trust the person we talked to. And the more you look at how Google is rolling out Glass, the more it makes sense.
Glass, if you haven’t see it, is one piece of glass over the right eye. It sends status updates from your phone to the Glass, which is projected out in front of you.
There is a thin metal frame that supports the device like glasses. Over the right ear is a touch pad that lets you control the device. It’s also voice controlled.
Glass has to be customised to fit on each person’s head. Otherwise, it’s difficult to clearly see the Glass display. It’s also hard for Glass to understand you if it’s not properly fitted to your skull, because it uses bone-induction.
Glass is a totally new technology, therefore there is a steep learning curve. We had Glass in the office, and people struggled to figure it out on their own when trying it on.
Google seems to realise people need Glass training.
Right now it’s sending out Glass to developers as part of its “Explorer” program. Developers pay $1,500 for Glass. They then test Glass, and build applications, helping Google figure out how Glass is really going to work.
When those developers pick up their Glass, Google employees walk the developers through the Glass experience. We have photos of the whole thing. It looks a lot like a retail operation.
Why go with just Glass stores? Why not do other Google hardware at the stores? Our speculation would be that it’s good to have focus.
Glass-only means hiring Glass specialists. It also means it doesn’t need huge retail spaces since it’s only selling one thing.
Assuming our source is correct, it appears that Google is going all-in on Glass. Not only is it manufacturing Glass, it’s also going do specialised retail, something Google has no previous experience with.