Google Glass (or Google Glasses) – do we love it or hate it? Well, it isn’t as simple as that. We like the idea behind it and, let’s face it, who doesn’t? But will it be useful. We’re not that into things for the sake of things. Or commodities. The Internet Marketing Platinum team are a frugal bunch. We like to give our customers value for money and never jump straight onto the next bandwagon just to be in the “in crowd”. So what is our view on Google Glass. Well, let’s first start by telling those who don’t yet know much about it exactly what is does.
Google Glasss is essentially a device which you wear…they are glasses and it’s like wearing a computer or a mobile smartphone. Wait a minute, a smartphone does contain a CPU etc and so is a computer. So they are computerised glasses. What is unique about the technology is the constant communication with Google to recognise images, known as image recognition. This is the marriage between reality and technology, and should be pretty fluid. It is essentially augmented reality. No not virtual reality, the nasty technology from over 10 years ago which gave its users headaches and made them dizzy after just 30 minutes use. Augmented reality…in the form of internet-connected glasses.
But what if you already wear spectacles to correct your eyesight? Google will have a solution for this so don’t worry. But the main problem we see with Google Glass and the like is that it will predominantly be used by people who already use smartphones “too much”. If you were to follow what the “4 Hour Workweek” book by Timothy Ferris says then you may have decided that your life might be more productive if you check your emails just twice per day at midday and 4pm. But Google Glass will likely be used by two main types of people – it will be just a “nice-to-have” for most people and an “essential” for smartphone users who just have to check their emails every minute and must answer every text message and social media private message they receive even if it is in work hours. Indeed there may be an app for everything but those who truly understand Information Technology will know that it isn’t just the information that we need delivered by that technology, it is also the action steps which matter so much. For instance, you can give a person a piece of technology and tell them how to use it but it’s the WHY and WHAT that is often overlooked. People who use technology successfully and productively and/or in any way to enhance their lives do so with a definitive purpose and with the end goal in mind. What can be achieved with Google Glass? The primary use will be the hands free nature of the first person perspective video that the devices can make possible as well as the additional information straight from Google using image recognition which is the primary focus of the device. We’ll wait and see.
In terms of previous incarnations of augmented reality, was pointing smartphones at buildings really that practical…evidently not as few people really used their smartphones in that way. There was never the need to do so. Are glasses better placed to facilitate this? Most certainly. But it’s all about the value that they provide. Then there is the restrictive cost of this technology right now. Sure, these costs will surely decrease as demand increases but we’ll wait and see. But our research as shown some interesting videos that have been made wearing Google Glasses and it is interesting. Maybe a bit gimmicky but there’s often nothing wrong with that.