Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales Says He’ll Probably Buy Google Glass

    March 15, 2013
    Josh Wolford
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We know that Google Glass is coming soon – by the end of this year, actually. A fully-polished version of Google’s smart eyewear will be ready for the average consumer some time in 2013 and will cost “less than $1,500.” At SXSW, Google just unveiled some of the first third-party apps that will be available on Google Glass. There’s nobody in the Brin household that will go anywhere without Google Glass on their eyes. Long story short, the Glass revolution is upon us.

But will it be a revolution? Wikipedia founder and frequent Quora contributor Jimmy Wales has some thoughts on the new tech.

Jimmy, will Google Glass succeed? Honestly, he says he doesn’t know.

“This kind of technology is obvious and obviously coming. Will Google Glass succeed? Dunno. Even great companies like Google and Apple have failed product introductions. Remember Apple Newton? Remember Apple TV? But give it 10 years, or 20 years. Let the technology get small enough and come down in price enough that you can’t tell the difference between Google Glass (or Apple iEye, ha!) and and a normal traditional pair of glasses, and I think they’ll be popular enough.”

Wales does think that Google Glass looks “extremely cool and fun,” though. And he says that he will probably be getting his own pair.

“Will I be getting my own pair? Probably! Will I wear them around on a normal day with normal people? I don’t know. Depends on the tradeoffs between looking weird and having a cool interface to the world.”

And what about the negative feedback that’s already emerging?

“It’s interesting to see all the pushback it is getting before it’s even on the market, of course…the privacy implications are interesting, although of course it’s true that the ubiquity of cellphones and the social pressure not to stand around like a jerk filming people makes a difference.”

  • http://www.examiner.com/wiki-edits-in-national/gregory-kohs Gregory Kohs

    Josh, readers would benefit from a more accurate account of who Jimmy Wales is. First, he’s really the “co-founder” of Wikipedia (even though he likes to believe that he’s the “sole founder”). Dr. Larry Sanger presented the idea of a wiki-based encyclopedia to Mr. Wales. Sanger named it “Wikipedia”, and Sanger issued the first public call for participation on the new project. Second, it is perhaps worthy of noting that Jimmy Wales is an investor in Quora, not just a mere participant. I think this is especially important because Quora executive Marc Bodnick routinely deletes any Quora content that is problematic for Jimmy Wales, creating an atmosphere where the Quora management are certainly handicapping the site in favor of an investor. If you ask me, that’s where the bigger story is, not in what tech eyewear Jimmy Wales plans to wear (or not wear). Heck, there’s even a better story in how Google made a $500K donation to Wales’ Wikimedia Foundation (*that*, he did serve as “founder”), and weeks later, Wales was blacking out Wikipedia’s front page to protest SOPA — proposed legislation that Google emphatically opposed. You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours, no?