Square‘s Jack Dorsey is keen on wearables but cautious on Glass, arguing smart glasses aren’t likely to offer legitimate value to wearers for another decade or so. “Glasses are very compelling and I think it’s an amazing technology” Dorsey told the NYTimes, “but I just can’t imagine my mom wearing them right now. What is the value of Glass?”
While augmented reality wearables like Google’s headset are technically impressive, Dorsey expects more mundane examples of body-worn gadgetry to do better in the mass market. Part of that, the mobile payments service founder suggests, is due to the fact that tech you wear on your wrist can be associated more readily with geek-jewelry.
“I think the movement you see around Fitbit, Up and FuelBand, that seems to be the next step in wearable” he argued. “So something on the wrist that feels natural, almost feels a bit like jewelry.”
Some have taken Dorsey’s apparent affection for smartwatch-style tech as an indicator that Square will explore an app for such gadgets, potentially allowing for payments to be made without having to pull your phone out of your pocket. Square is best known for the credit card swipe dongles that plug into iPhones and iPads; however, the company has also been exploring other, less traditional methods of customer recognition, including geofenced apps that flash up the user’s face on the cashier’s terminal, allowing them to be recognized in a more passive manner.
For Glass to fit into daily use, Dorsey suggests, the technology will need to assimilate more readily, as well as potentially give the market time to come to terms with a computer on your face. “I think it might be a 10-year answer, but not in the next five years” he concludes. “Maybe if they’re in sunglasses or what not.”