Naturally when the big players move, the market takes notice and taking center stage at Google in the physical design world are the advancements of Project Glass and the recent accquisition of design company Mike and Maaike into the Google fold.
Does this signify any radical shift of design importance in the hi-tech world? No. In the North American Market? Yes. Design-centric studios are at the center of technological direction, consumer value, brand perception, and of course functional development and product acceptance which we all understand as Apple soars to higher and higher levels of consumer demand because of it's aesthetic awareness putting a high value on it's internal design team and how it effects the bottom line. Should Google partner with Gucci? Prada? Hermes? Yes. Is it valuable? How can we measure this? As simple as the number of news, blog, and twitter postings of Google's aquistion of Mike and Maaike as reported in business specific publicatons such as Business insider, Tech News, CNN, C-Net, Fast Company Design, ID Magazine, etc. and naturally as in the design world as well.