Google Glass dying a slow death? #whatsgooingon

Google GlassGooibiz is back with another roundup of some tech stories that flew under most people’s radar. Has Google given up on Google Glass on the downlow? We are little heavy on Google stories this week, but a lot of interesting things have been happening in Mountain View.

  • Google Glass seems to be on life support
  • Man implants ‘cold’ bitcoin wallet in his hand
  • Chinese developers start making money on the Google Play store
  • Google launches Contributor its alternative to advertising

Glass half empty

After the initial hype, stories on Google’s divisive Glass have run dry. We have been testing the Glass since May this year  but little seems to have changed to address our concerns. Now stories have started circling that developers have given up on glass. 9 out of 16 Glass app developers told Reuters that they had ceased development on Glass apps.

Take away: With no consumer launch imminent it seems as if enterprises and other large customers are the way forward for Google for now. With some industries, hospitals and companies like Taco Bell buying and developing Glass through Google’s Glass at Work scheme it seems as if ‘glassholes’ will not be roaming the streets for the foreseeable future. But with genuinely positive stories about Glass’s potential still cropping up, it seems as though Google definitely hasn’t given up on Glass just yet. The difficulty for developers is that until release consumer demand for this product is completely unknown and smartwatches (including Android smartwatches) are taking some of the wearable hype.

You can take my wallet from my cold, dead hands

A Dutch man has implanted two NFC chips in his hands to act as a cold wallet for his bitcoins. Arstechnica details the rather grim procedure of injecting the 2 by 12 millimeter glass capsule into the fleshy skin next to the thumb. Not for the faint of heart this kind of procedure is becoming more common. This is not something new, people have been implanting RFIDs or NFCs for over a decade.

Take away: As e-currencies become more common and an increasing number of stories about security flaws, exploits and surveillance come to light, it seems inevitable that people will want to take their most secure data offline. And what’s more secure and offline than your body? For people who aren’t prepared to go full cyborg just yet there are some other, less intrusive, options available.

Google and the Great Firewall

Since Google packed its bags and left in 2010, the Google Play Store has been unavailable to mainland Chinese Android users. This has also meant that app developers in mainland China have not been able to make money on Google Play without having to resort to third-party solutions or registering overseas. Now however, these developers will be able to have money wired to their Chinese bank accounts straight from Google.

Take away: Android is extremely popular in mainland China but the Google Play store is not bundled or even available to these users. There are rumors that Google is poised to bring its app store to the largest Android market in the world and going back on its 2010 decision. This would be a big and very profitable move for Google although Google would be entering a very competitive app store market.

Finally, a way to make money on the internet

And it’s not advertising! Google’s new Contributor program allows users to pay to avoid ads for their favorite sites. The way it works is that users set a monthly allowance (the example given is $1-3) and then this is divided by the participating sites. When you visit sites the advertising will be replaced by a thank you message.

Take away: Any new model for users tired of invasive cookies and ad littered sites is welcome. Considering how many users complain about the ad supported model, it will be interesting to see how many users actually pay a negligible fee to avoid the annoyance. People have grown accustomed to free, ad-supported content but surely there must be space for a paid model somewhere out there. Hopefully Google have tapped into it here, while of course taking a cut.

Have a gooi weekend


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