Disclaimer: My career technology prognostication batting average is under .500. In 2003, I remember scratching my head about Google, and wondering what all the fuss was about over a simple search engine company. (sfx: <buzzer> ) I loved Uber and Air B&B from the start as they deftly pulled an end run around traditional supply side models (sfx: <ding-ding>). Twitter – will people really use it? (sfx: <buzzer>). Still love LinkedIn (sfx: <ding-ding>). Tablets – too big for the pocket and not enough functionality as laptops (sfx: <buzzer>).

Which brings us to wearables. Only yesterday, Eric Schmidt CEO of Google, told the Wall St. Journal that “Google isn’t giving up on Google Glass”. Last time I checked, Mr. Schmidt is doing pretty OK, and I suspect he’s got a vision that merits this support. However, recently I had my first opportunity to try on gen.1 Google Glass. I have to give a nod to the ergonomic design for fit, but once the little screen kicked in, I couldn’t imagine walking around with my right eye “online”, while the rest of my body was living analog. Is there anything…ANYTHING…that I have to know that fast to justify the always on distraction? Yes, I realize there are modes you can adjust to “disconnect”, or put in dormant screensaver mode (like time & temp), but does it merit the whole headset in the first place? Further, what message does it send to people on the other side of the glass? Thus far, my reaction to talking with a person with Google Glass on is akin to them being unaware of the piece of food on their face while their talking. You can’t take your eyes off it and you definitely miss parts of the conversation. On their side of the glass, are they really looking/listening, or getting text alerts, email alerts, flight alerts… or who knows what? Mr. Schmidt says “It is a big and very fundamental platform for Google”. He would certainly know, but as of now, just speaking as “Joe User”, I’m not feeling the love for Google Glass.

So now we move to the wrist. Smart watches. Front and center, the iWatch from Apple. Sleek, beautifully designed and so very Apple-esque. But to be fair, there’s a bunch of other entries out there as well, as documented in MacWorld earlier this month. Everything you need online once again, around your wrist, on a screen smaller than a matchbook. Emails, texts, weather, stock quotes, social media tweets & posts, and music. GPS so everyone knows where you are. Or at least you know where you are. Where you’ve walked, run, or biked that day, that week.

To me, the success rate of wearables teeters on the fulcrum of marginal utility. On the other side of this see-saw, the smartphone. Sleek, elegant, vivid, durable, incredibly powerful. If you have a smartphone (and who doesn’t anymore), what new level of utility will the smartwatch / Google Glass and wearables bring? Of course there will be early adopters. There always are early adopters. But beyond the “shiny new thing” market, will wearables catch on?

Like I said, I’ve missed plenty of predictions to date, so I suppose I’m ensuring wild success for all wearables when I say, “Who really needs them?”. Start buying up Google, Apple and Samsung stock.