Will Google Glass be the next iPhone?

12 percent of US adults are willing to wear Google Glass, Forrester survey finds
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Will Google Glass become the next iPhone? Yes, says Forrester Research analyst Sarah Rotman Epps, who has prepared a report on consumer attitudes about Google's latest device.

According to a survey of more than 4,600 U.S. adults conducted by Forrester, around 12 percent of respondents are willing to wear Google Glass or other sensor devices if it offers a service that piques their interest.

Half of the adults willing to wear Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Glass, called Glass Gravitators by Forrester, are from Generation Y or younger, the survey found. They are most interested in Google Glass for utility-based apps, such as navigation, photography and data about places and products. Close to one-third are interested in gaming with Glass.

"The prototype version of Glass that's currently available to developers, known as the Glass Explorer edition, shows enough promise that we think it's just a matter of time until Glass takes off," Rotman Epps wrote in a blog.

At the same time, the prototype has a short battery life and restrictions on app developers' access to the native hardware sensors, making it difficult to develop apps for the device, Rotman Epps added.

Google Glass provides marketers with a significant opportunity but they "must think differently about Glass than they do about their Web or smartphone applications," Rotman Epps wrote.

The product presents a challenge for marketers: it requires permission from the user before app developers can sell, rent or provide user information to third parties, such as marketers.

"The good news is that because Glass apps are permission-based, if consumers invite you to engage with them on Glass, you'll likely know who they are anyway--you probably have an existing relationship with them, and they trust you enough to invite you to engage with them on this intimate platform," she added.

While Rotman Epps is optimistic about the adoption of Google Glass, privacy regulators might slow or stop Google Glass in its tracks. Earlier this week, 37 privacy agencies sent a letter to Google noting that "fears of ubiquitous surveillance of individuals by other individuals, whether through such recordings or through other applications currently being developed, have been raised" about Google Glass.

The regulators asked Google to provide them with more information about how privacy would be protected. They warned that the privacy issues raised "fall squarely within our purview as data protection commissioners," suggesting that they will not hesitate to regulate Google Glass if they are not satisfied with Google's answers.

For more:
- see Forrester's survey results
- read Rotman Epps' blog
- check out the regulators' letter

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