Glass could be worth $3.3 billion to Google by 2017, one analyst suggests. And that’s even if only 65,000 people end up actually wearing the face-mounted augmented reality glasses.
Which seems very, very low.
Given the amount of interest in Google Glass and the average consumers’ increasing interest in wearable technology — in a recent survey, 20 percent of Americans wanted an Apple iWatch, sight unseen — I’d have to guess that first-year sales could easily exceed that number.
Robert Peck of SunTrust Robinson Humphrey suggests that Glass will retail for $349, which seems reasonable given current rumors., but that almost all the revenue Google earns from Glass will be from advertising, as he expects Google to sell Glass at or near cost. That could be primarily local search ads as users search for restaurants or cafes, or play with the Google Field Trip app, recently released on Glass, on a vacation to discover local landmarks, galleries, tourist attractions, and more.
Glass and early adopters like Robert Scoble paid $1,500 to buy Google Glass in its initial form, and he’s bullish on the long-term commercial success of the product, which he thinks might cost only $299.
“I’m pretty excited about where Google’s going – I think it will be a product that will stand up for decades as the launch of a new genre,” Scoble told me a few weeks ago. “It’s a product that takes us to a new place … right now, this is best-of-breed.”