Window Into the Future: Google Glass Product Name Review


Love it or hate it, the premise of Google Glass (scheduled for release this year) is a real eye-opener.

The wearable computer, which looks like a pair of futuristic eyeglasses, lets you do everything from texting and web-surfing to recording POV video: all via simple voice command or head movement (and the occasional tap of a finger).

For a product this technologically complex, choosing the product name Google Glass is simply brilliant. By capturing the ease of the user experience, the name recasts a cyborgian, potentially scary technology as familiar and intuitive. The name also steers clear of the common naming temptation to brag about what the company’s most proud of, rather than what’s most meaningful to customers.

Google Glass keeps the user experience front and center. “Glass” is a commonplace word that evokes pristine clarity and a transparent window into other worlds. Could it possibly be more fitting for this product? Plus, the deft alliteration has a kind of inevitability about it—what every naming specialist prays for when naming a product.

The elemental nature of glass, its ubiquity in modern life, its very low-techiness, all make the name Google Glass immediately accessible and user-friendly, while the pairing with uber-brand Google signals that this humble technology is being taken well above the next level.

The naming protocol here is in keeping with Google’s other brand names, such as Google Drive, Google+, Google Translate, and Google News, which are straightforward, serviceable, and (mostly) short real words—and which get their punch from their pairing with the mother brand. And if Google Glass veers from the purely descriptive into metaphorical territory, it has good company with Google Chrome.

Google Glass. It sounds like something designed to be an invisible yet vital part of everyday life well into the future. And so it will be, if Google has its way.

Overall Grade: A

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