|Given my recent Google Glass experience, and Google's announcement of the smart contact lenses, I interviewed Tim Moore the founder and CEO of Venture Glass, which creates wearable products and solutions, and was recently identified as "an emerging thought leader in wearable technology." He has over 20 years of experience in digital leadership, from The New York Times Company, to the founder of multiple successful start-up companies.|
"Don't be blinded by technology analysts, look at the growth and it's clear, wearables are now.
Image courtesy of Google from - Thursday January 16, 2014: Google announces smart contact lens project.
I've known Tim Moore for some time now and this much is clear, he gets it. His work via Venture Glass, Google Glass, and wearable consulting is well known. He is always honest about the details of wearable's being "under construction," but he sees their uses in ways that are visionary to say the least. It just takes a matter of seconds with Tim to know he is from the future (which was pleasant for me, as I love talking about the flux capacitor).
So, I spoke to him about just that, the future of wearables and Google's announcement on smart contact lenses. Enjoy!
1. Tim, let's get right to it. Some have said wearables are doomed or a waste of time. Your thoughts?
They are not doomed, they are under construction for sure, but I'm seeing the looks on people's faces when they try on wearables that actually work and it's amazing to see their unprodded reaction. And, it's not about the device, it's about what it does, the functions, the possibilities. While the tech press share a lot of attention grabbing headlines, they often are promoting their opinion not the technical facts and a view of the future. I prefer to see the future, and it's clear in our young people. Children like 5-year-old Kali who reacts like nothing I've ever seen before when it comes to her first time wearing Google Glass help me. These real life reactions from real people signal to me that, sooner rather than later, wearables will not just replace mobile phones but will become welcomed assistants used throughout our daily lives.
2. So, what do we say to those calling this a waste of time?
Well, facts are facts, and the numbers don't lie. Wearables are currently a $3-$5 Billion dollar industry. In as little as 18-24 months, or in late 2015/early 2016, the wearable industry is estimated to be at nearly $50 billion dollars a year. That's almost double what the entire film industry generated in 2012, just as a reference point. And wearable's are just the beginning, looking ahead, (while we may be a number of years off from this video), we will get their much sooner than many think.
3. How about what Google announced, this smart contact lens. How will that change "glassification" or "wearification"? Health eh?
It will. Google knows what they are doing and this isn't just about wearables and convenience. This is a business decision. As the waistline of young Americans grow larger and larger, so does the pool of diabetes candidates. This is a great business decision by Google, to see the future, and create a solution to simplify the lives of others and make a great deal of money along the way. Remember, contact lenses are not new, neither are smart contacts for that matter. Scientists have been working on these concepts for years. It's the software that monitors blood sugar levels via tear glucose and measure it great accuracy that is what makes this worth investing in.
4. How about immediate wearables, like Google Glass for instance. Where will this hit, and where will it miss?
Again, based on numbers and interest levels, it's obviously a hit with technology people and consumers alike. At CES this year, smart vision, along with wearables, stole the show and dominated the press coming out of the show. While it's still under construction, I see the finished product for consumer and enterprise, and it's beautiful. Health is very interesting, and I know this is where you are focus, health will be interesting!
5. So, Robert Scoble is wrong (and I am being deliberately provocative)?
I love Robert and have tons of respect for all he does, but yes, when he made the 'doomed' statement (which is all people remember) he was wrong. If he was right and truly believed what he said, he'd turn in his Google Glass and wait until the year 2019 and jump in at the last minute to cash in, based on the year of 2020 being his projected tipping point for Glass' success. I'll hand mine in before he will, and that's not going to happen either.
Thank you Tim.
This interview was a pleasure, Richie.