With this piece we take a look at one of the most interesting launches of 2020, the Jio Glass. Now, this is not the first smart glass the world has seen but the topic is important given the fact that Google Glass did not appeal to the audience as it expected. Given this is the case, we take a look at Jio Glass vs Google Glass and then understand why the use cases with this glass might as well help it make the much-needed leap.
The Reliance AGM held on the afternoon of 15th July 2020 was one of a kind. Not because it was on JioMeet, a video conferencing solution Jio launched just a few days back. Not because of the announcement of the bevvy of investors and strategic partners at Jio. But, because of the slew of new innovations and launches they announced. The new projects and initiatives unveiled included 5G technology which are in their final test phases, awaiting spectrum auction to roll out; JioTV+, an aggregator OTT platform for Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar, etc; Jio’s enterprise solutions based on their Narrowband IOT services etc; but the one that caught my fancy was the Jio Glass!
Related: Take a look at the unconventional diversification of Reliance
The Iconic Google Glass
If you recall, on April 15, 2012, Google launched its revolutionary Google Glass for “Glass Explorers” priced at $1,500. It was a miniature computer, perched on your nose. The screen had both an inbuilt camera and a screen, making it a piece of cake for users to take photos, check emails, etc. The product had a wide array of use cases. Reading street signs for the visually challenged, capturing the line of sight visuals of experienced surgeons and engineers for future training purposes, helping patients with memory disorders remember and so much more.
But every silver lining hides behind a dark cloud. And the dark cloud here was the ubiquitous surveillance! Some of the dissenters made google glass look like living out an episode from Black Mirror.
Why Google glass didn’t make the cut..
There were more issues. In fact, from when the device was announced, the company drew flak. They announced that the glass would only be made available to a select list of their affiliate developers and an elite list of twitter users. I mean, since when did using twitter made you elite? But that was not all. Prototype users complained that the product was too bulky, and also made them look creepy! And of course, the exorbitant price.
Then there were issues with its potential to increase the amount and kinds of cyberbullying and sexual harassments faced by victims. However, the worst challenge was that of privacy. In fact, the number 1 question Google Glass users asked was “Are you recording me?” I mean this beats the eeriness brought out by Joe Goldberg in You. This device could end up being the one that every cyberstalker must-have. The concerns over such issues became so fervent that many public places banned the use of Google Glass in the USA.
Given the negative outlook, google finally decided to pull the plug from the project. They announced that from Feb 25th 2020 it would no longer be possible to link glass to google account directly. Instead, you’d have to connect to your android phone via Bluetooth, which would need an app in order to unlock the other functionalities. Also, they phased out some of their popular apps on Google Glass, like Google Meets.
Jio Glass vs Google Glass
So that begs the question. Why is Jio going all guns blazing on this one? I mean the initial euphoria aside; this product is far bulkier than that of Google Glass. There was no information about its price point. Nor was much discussed on the potential functionality apart from the fascinating 3D VR virtual meeting. The use cases mentioned included virtual conferencing, education, and designing. In the words of the presenter “You can take a walk along the Pyramids of Giza, and your current methods of learning geography will be history.”
So does that mean this is less targeted towards individual use, but rather group use? That would certainly be interesting. Imagine your engineering drawing classes. No longer would it seem like abstruse topics, but you can actually see how 3D objects get translated to 2D from different views. That structural engineering class will no longer just be about bookish knowledge.
But my opinion is that this can make a killing in the design and development space! Imagine, you are making a vital engine component for an aircraft. A small mistake could literally cost lives (remember the Boeing accidents). But not anymore. You can simply download the 3D design model from your Jio Glass, project it in front of you, and resize it to the actual dimensions. Then go over module by module, checking for accuracy. If something seems amiss, you can always zoom in to check what the problem is. The best part, you can do this in real-time as when you build your product.
Related: Take a look at the Jio-Facebook deal
It’s no surprise then, that Google is a strategic partner of Jio. I believe, somewhere deep down, Google would help drive this project and help it fulfill the destiny they wanted their Google Explorer glasses to achieve!
The author of this piece is Kamalika Poddar, an adroit writer, appreciate how swiftly she penned down her thoughts for this one! If you liked the piece, share it with your best friend on WhatsApp or LinkedIn.
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