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IHS: Sales of Smart Glasses to Hit Almost 10 Million by 2016

By - Source: IHS | B 22 comments

Do you plan on getting a pair?

We already know that Google Glass is coming end of 2013 or early 2014. We've also heard rumblings about other similar products from Google's rivals, so we know smart glasses will be something of a trend in the next year or so. However, IHS predicts they'll take off in a really big way.

"Google Glass this month began shipping to application developers who registered as early backers and paid the $1,500 price tag. This is expected to spur innovations in applications that should take Glass from early adopters to the mass market," IHS said in its report. "As the developers get to work and Google encourages venture capitalists to back them, shipments will begin to surge to high volumes, according to the upside forecast."

The market research firm reckons Google Glass will launch a whole new product category. One that will ship almost 10 million units in the next four years. IHS predicts a whopping the global market for smart glasses could amount to almost 10 million units from 2012 through 2016. According to IHS, shipments of smart glasses were just 50,000 in 2012. IHS thinks it could be as much as 6.6 million units in 2016.

It's not a slam dunk for Google, though. While IHS is predicting massive shipment figures for the smart glasses industry as a whole, the company says the success of Google Glass will depend on developers and their applications.

"The applications are far more critical than the hardware when it comes to the success of Google Glass," said Theo Ahadome, senior analyst at IHS. "In fact, the hardware is much less relevant to the growth of Google Glass than for any other personal communications device in recent history. This is because the utility of Google Glass is not readily apparent, so everything will depend on the appeal of the apps. This is why the smart glass market makes sense for a software-oriented organization like Google, despite the company’s limited previous success in developing hardware. Google is betting the house that developers will produce some compelling applications for Glass."

No doubt Google I/O will feature a lot of Google Glass talk, and the fact that developers will have almost a full year with the device before it goes on general sale will no doubt help. The price is also expected to drop significantly once it becomes available to consumers, which means the technology will then be more accessible to those that like to develop applications as a hobby.

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  • 2 Hide
    slomo4sho , April 29, 2013 3:09 AM
    So there are at least 10 million people that want to be detached from reality at all times?
  • 0 Hide
    killerclick , April 29, 2013 3:15 AM
    Cool. I'd probably wouldn't use this in public unless/until it gets dramatically more useful, but I'm looking forward to wearable displays replacing all other kinds of displays one day.
  • 0 Hide
    killerclick , April 29, 2013 3:20 AM
    Cool. I'd probably wouldn't use this in public unless/until it gets dramatically more useful, but I'm looking forward to wearable displays replacing all other kinds of displays one day.
  • Display all 22 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    Timmy225 , April 29, 2013 4:03 AM
    I can believe that there are 10 million Tools out there who will line up for this spyware/hardware. They will line up one day too for the chip to be implanted in their hand too, Fools.
  • -1 Hide
    cats_Paw , April 29, 2013 4:15 AM
    A: It cant play Crysis
    B: It wont show your enemy power level
    C: Its not tinted so you cant look at girls directly.
    Not worth buying.
  • -2 Hide
    cats_Paw , April 29, 2013 4:21 AM
    A: It cant play Crysis
    B: It wont show your enemy power level
    C: Its not tinted so you cant look at girls directly.
    Not worth buying.
  • 0 Hide
    hardcore_gamer , April 29, 2013 4:25 AM
    "Do you plan on getting a pair?"
    Nope. I already have a pair.
  • -2 Hide
    cats_Paw , April 29, 2013 4:26 AM
    A: It cant play Crysis
    B: It wont show your enemy power level
    C: Its not tinted so you cant look at girls directly.
    Not worth buying.
  • 1 Hide
    cats_Paw , April 29, 2013 4:27 AM
    Damn with those multiposts.
  • 2 Hide
    damianrobertjones , April 29, 2013 5:22 AM
    Basically... Google with throw money into this device so all tech sites will keep on pushing and once we're basically 'told' to buy the mass public WILL buy.
    We're absolute FOOLS for marketing and are often sold items that we already have (Smart TV anyone?)
  • 0 Hide
    ojas , April 29, 2013 5:40 AM
    10 million isn't much out of 7 billion, but i somehow doubt it'll even reach there. Of course none of us will remember that they said this, then. :D 
  • 0 Hide
    cats_Paw , April 29, 2013 5:48 AM
    Dont think everyone will buy those.
    As soon as restaurants, shops and everyone else figures out how ppl hate to be watched and then posted on the internet, they will bann those in every place possible.
    And i doubt ppl will then want to have some glasses that you cant use in 90%+ on the social locations.
  • 0 Hide
    santeana , April 29, 2013 6:01 AM
    I just spent $2000 to not have to wear glasses anymore and now they want me to put them back on lol... no thanks. unless they come in decent looking sunglasses. That's different. lol
  • 0 Hide
    house70 , April 29, 2013 7:17 AM
    Wow, people, realx. No one is forcing you to buy anything.
    As far as the article is concerned, the analysts got it all wrong, IMO. The hardware development will dictate how soon will this technology take off. It is the opposite of what they say, because people are more aware of what they wear in public, and right now the Glass hardware looks too geeky for mass appeal. The software, OTOH, is already available to certain degree, a lot of apps can be made to run on this with minimal modifications, and even fewer apps are dedicated exclusively for Glass, but that will evolve rapidly now that developers got their hands on prototypes.
  • 0 Hide
    jamesjones_det , April 29, 2013 7:20 AM
    Google glasses are cool, but I really have a hard time seeing people walking around town waring things like that.
    I honestly don't think smart glasses are going to sell that well.
  • 0 Hide
    mman74 , April 29, 2013 7:57 AM
    I cannot believe how negative the comments below are. The reaction from the testers have been consistently positive. The problem with mobile phones is that you've always got to pull them out and look downwards to use them. Now imagine you can speak to activate whatever app or function of your phone and have that information overlaid as a HUD in front of you as you are getting about with your business. Google searches, map directions, presentation notes, cooking instructions, news/social media feeds. Imagine something terrible has happened, a bomb has gone off, then immediately activating the camera as you start looking at faces of people acting suspiciously. Imagine Googling a person as you are chatting them up at the bar. Imagine watching a video or reading a book in a particularly boring meeting. Imagine video calls where the caller sees exactly what you see in real-time, so a medical expert can walk you through giving first aid whilst your hands are free to save lives. The possibilities are endless, but some people seem to have myopia to all the benefits these tools can bring.
  • 0 Hide
    upgrade_1977 , April 29, 2013 8:14 AM
    LOL, NO.....
    Make them in contact lens form and then i will.
    Girl "why you blinking so much"?
    Guy " i'm taking pics for my spank bank"..
  • 0 Hide
    chronicbint , April 29, 2013 10:17 AM
    Soon as they can be fitted to prescription glasses and are slightly more inconspicuous I will have some.
  • 0 Hide
    catfishtx , April 29, 2013 11:38 AM
    You know, if a government wanted to, they could buy a million or so of these, distribute to folks for free, and then hit record button. A volunteer spy network for cheap!
  • 0 Hide
    stingstang , April 29, 2013 12:05 PM
    Who already launched their glasses? How did 50,000 already ship last year?
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