Google set to launch Glass app store

Stand-alone Glass app store can help Google create a community of users of the technology, analysts say

Google is ramping up plans to open an app store focused solely on Google Glass, the computerized eyeglasses expected to launch in 2014.

The company confirmed to Marketing Land that the dedicated Glass app store will launch next year.

The report confirmed a statement in a The New York Times review of the technology, in which author Clive Thompson said: "The company says an app store is coming next year, when Glass is available to the general public."

Google has yet to respond to Computerworld's repeated attempts for comment today.

Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group, said a stand-alone app store for Glass apps will help Google create a community of Glass users.

"As Google knows, the hardware doesn't matter nearly as much as the ecosystem that develops around the hardware," Olds said. "Having a large population of developers writing and selling a rich and deep range of applications is what drives device sales."

He noted that apps are especially important for fledgling technologies like Glass.

"Google Glass is a new kind of device, and it's attracting a fair share of fear and loathing," said Olds.

"Some see Glass as, best case, an invasion of privacy, or, worst case, a stalker's best friend. Google needs to showcase apps that are helpful, like improving safety, or providing some sort of critical information. The useful and cool applications need to be useful and cool enough to overshadow the creepy apps," Olds said.

About 8,000 people are now testing Google Glass, which is expected to become publicly available next year.

Glass has already has raised serious privacy concerns, with fears that users can surreptitiously take pictures or shoot video in restaurants, business meetings or even public restrooms.

Last spring, eight members of Congress wrote an open letter to Google CEO Larry Page outlining privacy concerns about Glass.

Already, a Seattle cafe and Caesar's Palace have banned the use of the device from their locations.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her email address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

src='http://blogs.computerworld.com/sites/default/themes/cw_blogs/images/rss_bug.jpg' alt='Hamblen RSS' title='Hamblen RSS' border='0'/>. His email address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

Read more about emerging technologies in Computerworld's Emerging Technologies Topic Center.

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