You’ve heard the reports that Google plans to open a series of brick and mortar stores, right? Good. Have you also thought, “They must be crazy, a search engine isn’t a physical thing!”? You’re not alone in thinking that, but here are three products that prove that the time is right for Google to have their own B&M stores:
- The Nexus line – These devicesrun the vanilla version of the Android OS and are the devices that Google focuses on when developing the newest versions of the OS. These devices receive the OS updates first, resulting in the Nexus line being the cutting edge in Mountain View’s mobile lineup. Nexus currently has 3 versions:
- Nexus 4 – an unlocked, contract free smartphone
- Nexus 7 – a 7” tablet
- Nexus 10 – a 10” tablet
- Chromebooks – These (until recently) low-end, low-cost laptops allow users who are already mostly in the cloud to have a low cost device for accessing all of that internet goodness. Up until February 21, they have mostly been sub-$300, low-powered machines. Google announced today a new Chromebook, the Pixel. Pixel is powered by an Intel Core i5 processor and touts a screen that holds the title for highest resolution (2560 x 1700) and pixel density (239ppi) for its screen size ~13”. (The 13” Macbook Pro w/Retina Display, by comparison has a resolution of 2560 x 1600 and 227ppi.)
- Glass – While still at least a year or two away from being in the hands of consumers, this wearable computer display could change everything. What may be the most consumer-friendly incarnation of augmented reality, Glass will allow hands-free, voice-activated access to the internet, overlaid on a part of our field of vision. It will allow documenting and broadcasting of nearly everything we do – all of it shareable with our friends and colleagues. It’s also the innovation that hasn’t quite found its killer app yet. What will people actually use it for? Will people actually use it?
All of these devices can and will be purchasable online, but having a place for Average Joe to walk in and have the experience of touching, holding and, in the case of Glass, wearing the device, they’ll get a better feel for what they’re getting themselves into. Stack that with Google’s equivalent to Apple’s Genius Bar, and you’ve got one heck of a way to get these pure-Google products into consumers’ hands.