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When Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) launched its new line of Nexus tablets a couple weeks ago, it was a shot across the bow of Apple Inc.'s (Nasdaq: AAPL) dominant iPad.
Even though Hurricane Sandy forced Google to cancelan event planned to show off the new gadgets, it went ahead and launched its new products anyway.
The timing was no coincidence.
Google's latest salvo came less than a week after Apple introduced a smaller, less expensive iPad Mini with a 7.9-inch display to compete against the Nexus 7 tablet.
It's no wonder these guys are at war. Tablet sales are expected to hit $29.1 billion this year, according to the Consumer Electronics Association.
That number is $10 billion higher than projected in January, escalating the battle to a whole new level.
Clearly both companies are feeling the heat.
And even though Apple is the clear leader in market share, Google has rolled out cheaper devices that are attracting many users-especially price-conscious ones.
The question is: Do Google's Android-powered devices have enough firepower to crack Apple's grip on the tablet market?
It's still too early to tell, but there's good reason to believe the Internet search giant may just pull it off.
Here's a look at what the new tablets have under the hood.
Google Glasses Prove the Future is Already Here
Getting a truly modern outlook requires a little help.
Fortunately, you may soon be able to buy a unique pair of eyeglasses that do the job for you.
In early April, Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) unveiled a stylish pair of Web-connected spectacles that serve as a computer you wear on your face (or perhaps a smartphone for your eyes).
They are called "Google Glasses" and they are a great twist on the "heads up" displays used by U.S. defense forces.
Most of us have never seen anything quite like this before - except in sci-fi films. But this high-tech, mostly hands-free device could change the way you live your daily life.
Put these eyeglasses on, and you have instant access your email. You can check the weather, get traffic updates, display maps and walking directions on the go, take photos, send texts, schedule meetings, listen to music, and make wireless video calls.
And get this. Google Glasses function by moving your head - nodding, for one - or by clicking a small button.
This is the kind of breakthrough I have in mind when I say we are living in the Era of Radical Change. The next two decades will be like nothing we have seen before.
And it all started right here in the good ol' USA.
Since the transistor was invented at Bell Labs in New Providence, NJ, back in 1947, the U.S. has vaulted ahead of the rest of the world at every major high-tech milestone.
In fact, as I like to remind readers, a simple law explains this steady stream of innovations we have enjoyed for decades. Named for a Silicon Valley genius, Moore's Law states that computing power doubles about every two years.
Look at it this way...
In the 1960s, for the first time people started using basic electronic calculators to perform addition and multiplication functions.
Today - just 50 years later - they can sport Google Glasses that make video phone calls. (Now you'll believe me when I say what's next... I believe that in the very near future we will be able to upgrade our IQs with devices implanted inside our brains.)
Thus, Google Glasses are so much more than just the latest cool gadget. They give us a great insight into what the near future holds.
It's going to be a thrilling ride.
Google Glasses and the Era of Radical ChangeAccording to early reports, Google could hit the market with these glasses by the end of 2012. But let me be blunt about one thing. Cynics have blasted Google over this project. They note that the Web giant has made no promise it will ever release the glasses.
That's true. But it misses the big-picture view.
Even if Google shelves its "Project Glass," I predict that someone else will quickly step in to fill the void. And that option could turn out to be the better bet for investors.
After all, with its $200 billion market cap Google is such a big company that these glasses, as cool as they are, may not move the stock's price all that much.
Either way, however, we win.
If Google Glasses do hit the market in time for the holiday, then we can all go out and grab a pair. If not, then we can look for a small-cap leader that's gearing up to bring them (or something similar) to market and then invest in that company.
In that case, what we hope for as tech investors is a firm like InvenSense Inc. (NYSE: INVN).
This is a small-cap leader that makes motion sensors used in a wide range of electronics, including smartphones equipped with Google's Android operating system.
Even after a huge recent sell off, the stock has returned more than 35% so far this year. Compared with Google's year-to-date loss of about 6%, InvenSense is on fire.
As it turns out, there are two small companies on my radar screen with products in the same space as Google's glasses.
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