Google’s Wearable Computing Bet Might Be Too Much, Too Soon

More than 70% say they won't buy Google Glass due to privacy issues. Is the search king overbetting on wearable computing?

Apr 22, 2014 at 8:30PM

Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL)(NASDAQ:GOOG) is having trouble selling wearable computing as the next big thing, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video. How so? A recent study from market research firm Toluna found that roughly 72% of those surveyed said they wouldn't wear Google Glass because of privacy and security concerns. That's a huge potential barrier, Tim says.

Several possible vulnerabilities are at issue. Certainly hackers exposing data is one, but so is the notion of being under self-imposed surveillance. The very act of wearing a digital device such as Glass could inadvertently make once-private moments public.

For investors, the question is whether Google is making too big a bet on the wearable computing market while skepticism is riding so high. Tim says he isn't concerned, if only because the company's overcome earlier privacy gaffes made for the sake of improved functionality.

Look at the evolution of Google Plus and logins. No longer just a social network, the system now acts as a gateway to every one of the company's products and more than a few third-party websites. If Google tracks your every move, Google Plus supplies the radar. Today, the network serves at least 300 million active users (though the real number may be closer to a half-billion).

Investors should find that reassuring. Everyday consumers may resist Google's early efforts with wearable computing, but if history proves anything it's that the search king does best in getting its wares to market quickly -- and then reinvesting or pulling the plug as business needs dictate.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Do you believe in Google's wearable computing strategy? Please watch the video to get the full story and then leave a comment to let us know your take, including whether you would buy, sell, or short Google stock at current prices.

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Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Google (A and C class) at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

The Motley Fool recommends Google (A and C class shares). The Motley Fool owns shares of Google (A and C class). Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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