The future successes of wearable computing are uncertain at this point, but as we discussed back in August, some research firms do believe that shipping values could skyrocket over the next couple of years. In particular, IHS predicts that 10 million "smart glasses" alone will ship between 2012 - 2016 - intriguing, given the fact that a mere 126,000 of those will ship in 2013.
Regardless of whether or not solutions like Google Glass are going to take over the world, it appears that Microsoft isn't planning on sitting idly by and risk missing a major opportunity. According to sources close to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft has already been working on a prototype Glass competitor, though absolutely no details about the specs were given.
At this point, specs are not that important anyway - what is important is the fact that Microsoft deems Google's Glass worthy enough to compete against. Given this is the first time we're hearing about this, however, it seems like a release would be quite a while off. After all - we've been hearing a lot about Google Glass for well over a year, and that still isn't available in a consumer solution, and won't likely be until early 2014 (despite the goal of having released it this year).
The next couple of years are going to undoubtedly be interesting for wearable computing - not just for eyeglasses, but for smartwatches and who knows what else. I admit to having little interest in either of those things at this point, but I'm willing to be surprised.
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