​Microsoft, not Google, will kickstart the smartglasses revolution

Dorky specs aren't dead...honest
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The smartglasses market may seem pretty lifeless right now, but a new Juniper report reckons that by 2020 we'll all we wearing a pair of connected specs, and it will be Microsoft's HoloLens, not Google, that shows us the way.

Juniper reckons the current market has gone backwards by 15 months thanks to the withdrawal of Google Glass, but said that: "12 million consumer smart glasses will ship in 2020, with the majority of growth occurring after 2017."

Essential reading: Everything we know about Google Glass 2

"Juniper analysts expect the market will be reinvigorated by 2017, as the HoloLens becomes generally available, and other devices from vendors like ODG, Sony, Meta and potentially Magic Leap move beyond developer-only devices and into general availability," the report continued.

So what will be the difference between HoloLens and Google Glass, and why is Juniper so sure that Microsoft's headset will be more successful than Google's specs? Well, the report says it's all about inside and outside use-cases.

"Devices like Microsoft's HoloLens, with explicit indoor example uses, are likely to be much better received than the initial outdoor use case promoted by Google Glass," it said.

And it has a point, especially when you consider the concerns regarding privacy, which certainly overshadowed the roll-out of Google Glass.

"Smartglasses use indoors counteracts many of the more problematic elements of smart glasses use; the user is never far from a charging point, does not need to look their best (although aesthetics may still be a concern) and is unlikely to be perceived as impinging on others' privacy," the report concludes.

While it remains to be seen whether HoloLens (which costs $3,000, for the record) will be the catalyst for the smartglasses' second coming, we still have a long time to wait.

​Microsoft, not Google, will kickstart the smartglasses revolution


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James Stables


James is the co-founder of Wareable, and he has been a technology journalist for 15 years.

He started his career at Future Publishing, James became the features editor of T3 Magazine and T3.com and was a regular contributor to TechRadar – before leaving Future Publishing to found Wareable in 2014.

James has been at the helm of Wareable since 2014 and has become one of the leading experts in wearable technologies globally. He has reviewed, tested, and covered pretty much every wearable on the market, and is passionate about the evolving industry, and wearables helping people achieve healthier and happier lives.

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