The Forrest Four-Cast: October 5, 2016
October 4 marked a very busy day in Google-land, as the company revealed a host of new products including Pixel Phones, the Daydream View VR Headset and Google Home. While these new additions to the family are exciting, what’s also noteworthy are four products / product-types that were absent from yesterday’s announcement.
- Mountain View is not yet ready to enter the maker space, as there is still no Google-branded 3D printer. Perhaps such a device will come in the future as home demand for 3D printers still seem a few years away (at best). Yes, a Google product on the industrial side of this market would seem to make a lot of sense because this business-focused space is a lot more mature. For now, their main strategy is investing in 3D startups, including a recent cash influx to Carbon.
- There’s long been talk that Apple will enter the automobile market and thereby compete with high-tech efforts like Tesla and Fisker. As for Google, the self-driving car project is their long-term play in this arena — and it doesn’t appear that the company will launch any other four-wheel initiatives before this one is more fully developed.
- It is also not too surprising that Google is staying away from the big-screen television market. Why? Because the viewing habits of Millennials and Generation Z have moved away from these kind of appliances. By contrast, the new Chromecast that was part of yesterday’s announcement gives these younger viewers 4k functionality, as well as many other features that our most important the 21st century television experience.
- Last but definitely not least, the October 4 announcement didn’t see any mention of Google Glass. While there are still a lot of medical applications for this device, the white flag seems to have been raised on the more general consumer market. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a radically re-imagined Glass-type project at some point in the next few years. But, for now, Snap takes over as the company that will try to establish a demand for this kind of technology.
Overall, it is fascinating to watch Google continue their transition from a software company to a software / hardware mix. This transition is reflective of larger industry trends, as more and more startups (and established companies) are building gadgets and devices. Yes, hardware is still freakin’ hard — but the path to success is slowly becoming less difficult.