Google Glass has taken the idea of augmented reality from the world of sci-fi to our very own living room. Now while our tech is still a long way from that in Minority Report and Iron Man, we’re at least thirty to fifty years closer to that future.
Then again, tech news and reviews are giving varying opinions that blur the lines of speculation and actual use. Meanwhile, Google Explorers have defended Glass’ reputation from what they deem as false accusations and misguided claims.
That doesn’t entirely explain why law enforcement and some establishments react so vividly to the new technology. It’s simply because it’s, well, new. Despite all the limitations of current tech and other restrictions applied by Google, none of it dissuaded the sense of fear provoked by the head mounted bundle of chips.
It goes to show that having the gadgetry and development resources isn’t enough to make up for responsible marketing and PR.
Since it was revealed, several critics blasted the device as a potential tool for invading privacy. The reaction of the police had a milder reaction that leaned more to concern on the safety level of the device. (Glass only covers one upper part of the eye. Current laws states that anything that blocks or interrupts a user’s vision while driving as dangerous.)
So what does Google do? Apparently, it’s got friends already armed with the counterarguments. (For instance, they ask why some car manufacturers are allowed huge touch screen at the dashboard.) There’s also the possibility that everyone will just get used to it like they did with smartphones and tablets.
But wait, does that mean the work of marketing is done?
Imagine a future where head-worn displays like Google Glass are now as common as regular eyewear.
How will marketers use them to interact with the device’s own, unique apps (and other possibilities)?
For one, there are those who imply an immersion in a “personal cockpit” that puts users in a pilot-like control of their digital lives. (Think Tony Stark’s personal workshop where every gesture controlled a holographic model.)
Others say their main purpose is still just another channel for immediate information and feedback (even though others fear such a development will inevitably lead to a Matrix-style enslavement).
Even Google and some of its own developers have now been moving to create augmented ads (bringing us closer to that Minority Report feel).
It won’t even be that long until this technology is implemented by professionals and opening up its entry into B2B markets. The U.S. army is already prepping its own Iron Man-like interface for G.I.s. Glass even has rivals like Recon Jet making its own impact in fitness and healthcare.
Finally, the fact that this device can be used by anyone only opens more opportunities for marketers.
In a recent report, Juniper Research announced that the number of people using augmented reality globally is predicted to rise from 60 million, at the end of 2013, to over 200 million by 2018.
Blippar, one of the recent developers for apps on Glass was recently used to turn the front of Shortlist magazine in London into a playable game on mobiles. Blipped images are also printed on every can of Pepsi in the U.S to play promoted videos. The demo presented at Mobile World Congress also showcased other areas of image recognition technology Blippar has been developing including faster recognition, and lower battery usage by the device.
The impact of Google Glass goes beyond tech, that much is clear. And for marketers, its impact on them could be just as great as it is in the epicenter.