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Tech Giants Play Dangerous Game With Their Fans

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Teen idols, Hollywood stars and technology companies have something in common.

It's possible for them to get too close to their biggest fans, to make such a big splash that these fans tire of them, rejecting what they once loved as caricatures.

The lesson of the Olsen twins and director M. Night Shyamalan may now have to be learned by Facebook (FB - Get Report), whose widely hyped "Home" skin for Android is increasingly looking like a product failure.

AT&T (T - Get Report) has cut the price of the HTC phone running Home. While Facebook executives told reporters, including Mashable's Emily Price, this week that the software has been downloaded one million times at Google Play, it may be too much of a good thing for Facebook's friends.


The same thing may be about to happen to Google (GOOG) Glass, the eyeglass interface that has yet to be formally released. A picture of blogger Robert Scoble wearing his Google Glasses in the shower went viral, with some calling him "King of the Dorks" on Twitter. (It's good to be the King, I reminded him in a tweet.)

Glass is interesting technology, and may help boost the wearable market to $6 billion by 2016, according to IMS Research, but how much of that market is captured by Google depends on it fighting a growing media perception Glass is intrusive, that (as with Home) it's too much of a good thing.

The heart of the wearable market, IMS predicts, won't be in the computing space at all, but in the area of health and fitness, where monitors can track a workout or see a heart attack before it happens. The interfaces, in other words, will go into the background, while Google Glass puts them in the foreground.

The same fall may be awaiting Amazon.com (AMZN - Get Report), which, spurred by the success of its Kindle Fire tablet in leading consumers to buy content from it, has now replaced Apple (AAPL - Get Report) at the center of the technology rumor mill, according to Internet Retailer. This reportedly includes a line of phones, even a 3-D phone that, as Wired notes, may just be dumb.

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