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article imageMicrosoft reportedly working on Google Glass competitor

By Jenna Cyprus     Oct 27, 2013 in Technology
Google Glasses, the search engine company's take on high-tech glasses, is now being rivaled by Microsoft and its upcoming creation.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft is working on developing a product that will rival Google Glass.
Google's flagship wearable technology piece isn't yet available to the public, but it's received a lot of buzz the past year. Because Glass is still in development, only a select few have been able to get them. Their initial cost is estimated to be $1,499.
The coming wave of wearable technology
While the exact details and pricing of Microsoft's product haven't been announced, many are speculating that Microsoft is attempting to get ahead of the curve when it comes to wearable technology, an industry that's projected to be valued at $10 billion in the next three years.
Even though Google Glass (or the Microsoft equivalent) isn't yet available to everyone on the open market yet, its potential uses are wide and many across a variety of sectors, including health care, building and personnel security, and any professions where photographs are a routine part of the job, such as insurance adjusting: in the event of an accident, adjusters must take photos of clients' damaged vehicles.
Microsoft is hoping to cash in on these potential uses by presenting their own wearable facial technology product. However, Google isn't the only competitor Microsoft may face in the potentially massive "smart glasses" market. Apple is also reportedly developing wearable technology products as well -- including a smartwatch.
Because Apple is usually ahead of the curve when it comes to technology (the iPhone was the first smartphone to saturate the consumer market and Apple followed it with the iPad, which dominates the tablet market), it's crucial for Microsoft to develop a competitive product that has wide appeal.
However, both Apple and Microsoft are most likely trying to catch up with Google without jumping the gun and releasing a product that isn't fully developed. If that happened, they would risk not only potentially losing millions of dollars, but damaging the reputation of future models.
Smartwatches and more
Along with technology you can wear on your face, Google, Microsoft, and others are reportedly working on a smartwatch that will rival Samsung's Galaxy Gear, which was announced this year and currently retails for $299. The Gear works in tandem with Samsung's Note III phablet, which allows users to read texts, get information, and answer phone calls from the phone itself. The smartwatch uses Bluetooth to connect to the phone.
In addition to smartwatches, many manufacturers are dreaming of other ideas to make wearable technology a useful commodity that they hope the general public can't wait to get its hands on. Clothing with speakers and headphones has been around for years, but never really caught on.
While most people aren't interested in hoodies that have built-in speakers, wearable activity trackers have become popular. With top brands like FitBit, Nike Fuel, and JawboneUP cornering the market, many technology aficionados like collecting the data about themselves that these activity trackers can give them. By tracking steps, calories, and even stairs, these gadgets keep users motivated and help them learn more about their habits.
Future technology
While wearable technology today has mainly been created to give the user information about himself or the outside world, many future technology observers are also tentatively projecting that technology will help others learn more about you. Whether you have food allergies or are trying to figure out why you keep getting sick, wearable technology could help identify patterns or body metrics that could help you stay healthier, almost automatically.
However, this type of information brings up privacy concerns for some parties who don't want their personal information being accessible without their consent.
Whatever the future holds for wearable technology and Microsoft's competitor to Google Glass, consumers will have more options than ever to learn more about themselves, one another, and the outside world.
photo credit: tedeytan
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