Not Sure About Google Glass: Survey Shows Why People Aren’t Buying It

Google Glass isn’t available to the public yet. However, the percentage of the general public who are aware of this unique and innovative project is larger than might be expected, at least among Baby Boomers.

A recent survey completed by the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University revealed that 54 percent of the approximate 1,200 survey takers, all of whom were between the ages of 45 and 59, know about the device. According to Medill, “[66 percent] said they would or might be willing to use…it in their travels. Men were a bit more likely than women to have heard of Google Glass and to say they’d definitely use it.”

However there were some reasons why these participants wouldn’t want to wear or purchase one of the most talked-about products that has only been released to a few thousand beta testers.


One of the key concerns that survey participants had was privacy, especially because of the photo-taking and video-recording capabilities of these lensless glasses.

According to the survey, “About one in four of those who wouldn’t use a Glass-like product were concerned about their privacy while using the device. Privacy is a significant issue…because it can take video and still photos of someone without them knowing.”

Because the device is controlled by the wearer, they would control when photos or videos were being taken, and wouldn’t necessarily need to ask for permission from those around them. Even though you can now take photo and video on cell phones, tablets, and other gadgets, in most cases, it’s easy to tell when someone is taking photo or video, because they have to hold up the device. Google Glass is a device you wear, so it is a lot harder to tell when someone is taking a photo or video.


One in three survey takers were concerned about price. The first editions of glasses cost $1,500, but Google asserts that this price will drop dramatically when the product is first available on the market. According to the survey report, “While one in three said they wouldn’t pay anything for Google Glass, about two in five said they’d pay up to $100, and about one in five up to $200.” While it is certain that this product will cost much more than $200 (based on their initial $,1500 price), this surveyshows many people may not be willing to shell out extravagant amounts for the device.


While the glasses are frameless and have a sleek look, they are noticeably different a normal pair of glasses. The camera and screen is on the right-hand side of the device, and though it’s small, it stands out.

The “looks” of the device were something that made many survey takers think twice. Two out of three of the survey participants said wearing Google Glass could be a distraction. In addition, “men were more concerned about looking silly than women. Looking ‘dweeby,’ ‘dorky,’ ‘goofy,’ and ‘silly’ were declared by some to be the negatives.”

However, some people may want the device to stand out. For some, having Google Glasses is a power statement, much like having the latest iPhone or tablet.

While cost, privacy, and looks may all be concerns that the survey takers had, there is little doubt that Google Glass will sell well when introduced on the market, especially because it is the first device of its kind.