To date, the pc + web world has been one of obsessive activity. Tools and services where users actively seek out information and websites compete for which can be the most thorough and interactive. Google the king of this game, giving seekers access to the deepest trove of human knowledge ever collected.
The mobile world changed this, and the “internet of things” hardware trend is further reshaping our expectations. Rather than active users seeking, the game is won by active services predicting and assuming. ”I see you’re in a different city, let me change the time”, “You’re near a great new restaurant and it is lunchtime, here’s a suggestion”, “When you’re not home, do you mind if I turn down the temperature and save some money?”.
When I see Google purchasing Nest, what I see is a company that is trying to learn how to relax. Google Glass is poised to be a grotesque failure, largely due to its active state. It is constantly putting pressure on the wearer and those around them to interact with it (directly or indirectly).
Wearables will succeed as they are forgotten. People don’t buy products, they buy better versions of themselves. Google’s push into connected hardware will depend largely on their ability to sit back, chill, and just let people enjoy their newfound superpowers.