As the head of Google X–the small but advanced R&D lab that has taken as hard a look at the feasibility of the above-mentioned technology as anyone (read Fast Company‘s exclusive inside look here)–Astro Teller knows a thing or two about the future. Google’s resident mad genius lives on the bleeding edge of what’s possible, blurring the lines between reality and sci-fi.
Which is why any company currently investing in wearables (read: basically all of them) should pay some attention to his thoughts on the matter. Speaking at Vanity Fair‘s New Establishment Summit on Wednesday (wearing a Google Glass headset, of course), Teller said that “wearables [are] tough.”
“They’ll eventually be a part our lives, but there’s this mantra that there’s no point wearing something on your body–because that’s a big ask,” said Teller. “There’s no point in having it on your body unless you can give people something you really couldn’t get otherwise. It has to be qualitatively better for it to be worn.”
Teller goes on to outline the challenges Google is facing with Glass, at one point quipping, “This”–pointing to Glass–“is a bad place to manipulate word documents.” But he’s absolutely right.
If your phone can already do everything your watch or glasses can do, then what’s the point? Is siphoning up all that biometric data and spitting it back out into pretty charts really the answer? That’s the billion-dollar question that Apple, Google, Samsung, and other tech companies are currently grappling with. And, at least as far as futurists go, he’s not even our most skeptical.
[h/t: Vanity Fair]