Google Glass, if you haven’t heard of it already, is Google’s experimental new invention that is causing quite the ruckus in the tech world. Glass is a wearable computer with an optical head-mounted display (OHMD). It works through somewhat of a smartphone interface, but in a completely hands-free format via voice control, other than the small touch pad on the side of the head-mount.
Many will go out and purchase this fine piece of engineering, as soon as it’s available, to be used as a versatile and revolutionary tool in their everyday life. Others will want it just to have the latest high-tech toy. If these things really start to take off, then you can imagine it will be the “smartphone revolution” all over again.
The new device has already been turning some heads in the advertising industry. Many people in the industry believe that there will be a huge opportunity to take advantage of what they are calling a new platform in advertising. Is Google Glass going to be an advertising game changer?
Pay-Per-Gaze Advertising, have you ever heard of it? No one has! Google recently patented the new format of advertising. So what is it? Pay-Per-Gaze technology tracks how many times a consumer looks at branded content, whether it be online, on TV, or glancing at a poster or billboard while walking down the street.
The technology also may have the potential to measure how people react emotionally to ads that they see, creating very valuable demographic data. This data, with everything in this world, will have a price tag that Google will have the utmost freedom to set. It’s a dream come true for Google and it’s wallet. For more about the importance of this kind of data, check out this article on AdAge.
Putting business aside, how is this going to change advertising creatively? How are ads we see everyday going to adapt to this new technology? Whether it is Google that takes advantage of this technology, Apple, or some other new company that develops a similar product, surely we will see a shift in the way we advertise.
What are ads going to look like? Will they be loaded right in front of you in a “cyber ad space”, or will they notify you when you are next to them and give you the option of looking at them or not. Here are a couple examples that might realistically represent would future advertising may be like with Pay-Per-Gaze. Digital ads could pop up in a smart glass wearer’s view depending on what real-world scene he or she is gazing, or advertisers could deliberately replace real-world ads in a wearer’s vision with virtual ads, the possibilities are almost endless when you are constantly looking through a screen capable of displaying virtual-reality advertisements. How long until they work this micro technology into our prescription contact lenses? Then maybe our world will be more like this:
With this new technology, comes a boatload of new privacy issues. It is seemingly obvious that with all of the recent NSA “big brother is watching you” chatter, that something intrusive as “reading your emotions” when you look at an advertisement might come off as a negative feature. If this scene from Minority Report creeped you out, then you are definitely not alone. There are plenty of people out there that don’t exactly like the idea of this.
So what do you think? Is Google Glass just too intrusive to take off? Or is this the beginning of a whole new world of advertising? Is this idea really that absurd of a concept to grasp? Or is Google just ahead of the curve?
– Rob Bauer