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  • 1. Business and MarketingImplications of Google Glasses Marketing 7546 – Trend Assessment Justin Stroupe
  • 2. Google Glasses 2012Augmented Reality in the Blink of an EyeIt doesn’t seem so long ago when cell phones still had a green screen and had monotonedigital ringtones. Then they slowly (or quickly depending on how you look at it) evolvedinto powerful data packed computers that monopolize our lives. One of the most powerfulfeatures of modern smart phones is the ability to deliver information on the user’sgeographical environment using augmented reality. Now this same technology is comingto your face in the form of Google Glasses.Google has teamed up with Android to develop the new glasses that are scheduled to enterthe market in late 2012. “We’ll apparently pay between $250 and $600 for glasses withone computerized lens, PCWorld’s Daniel Ionescu noted earlier Wednesday. The lens willbe a contextual heads-up display (HUD) that can tell you, for instance, how far you are fromyour destination”1 says Damon Brown with PCWorld. “Like Android phones, these goggleswill be licensed to third-party companies and will use a 3G or 4G connection to downloaddata. And how will you control the menus? By nodding and bobbing your head.”1 The heads up display on the Google Glasses works by using augmented reality. Also knownas AR, augmented reality is simply a computer generated image placed on real worldbackground. According to Kevin Bonsner with How Stuff Works “Augmented reality addsgraphics, sounds, haptic feedback and smell to the natural world as it exists. Both videogames and cell phones are driving the development of augmented reality. Everyone fromtourists, to soldiers, to someone looking for the closest subway stop can now benefit fromthe ability to place computer-generated graphics in their field of vision.”2 Google Glassesare not being designed for constant use, but more as an application based technology thatis only used when needed; much like our cell phones.Although little is known about what the glasses will look like, Google recently released animage of what the glasses may look like below.Rumors are the glasses will hit the market in late 2012, but Google has kept thedevelopment of this technology “hush-hush.” According to NPR’s website “There have beenrumors for months that Googles secretive X Lab in Mountain View was hard at workdeveloping goggles or glasses that would bear the Google name.”3 However, they are notsure how the market will accept the new technology. According to 9to5google.com, 2
  • 3. Google Glasses 2012“Google is apparently unsure if it will have mass-market appeal. Therefore, the company isconsidering making this a pilot program.”4Current Applications of Google Glasses and Augmented RealityGoogle Glasses have not hit the market, and similar products have not been developed.Therefore to understand the current application of this technology, we will need to focuson the current uses of the technology used by Google Glasses which is augmented reality.The early users of augmented reality have been television and most recently smart phones.In both cases, the technology is used to place emphasis on important information, or allowusers to see things in a new way.One of the most prevalent uses of augmented reality has been in television broadcasting,and more specifically sports broadcasting. Nearly all mainstream sports have began usingthe technology to make the broadcasts more interactive, and it is has been driven by acompany called SportsVision. The NFL has made good use of AR by using it to display thelocation of the first down line with a yellow line. Craig Smith explains in his blog that “theyellow line that runs across the field doesn’t actually exist. It is a computer-generatedimage that interacts with on-field markers to give you the sense that you are viewing a lineon the field that moves every time a first down is achieved.”5 Like the NFL, Major LeagueBaseball telecasts in recent seasons have included the use augmented reality to enhancethe viewing experience by using it to show viewers the strike zone or “K-Zone,” and theflight of the pitch. The NHL also used AR briefly to help viewers find the puck by givingthem the impression that it was glowing. Golf telecasts have used the technology to add atracer to shots enabling the viewer to see the ball flight, giving them a better understandingof how players are hitting shots. Other sports such as track and field, swimming, soccer,and even horse racing have also used the technology to enhance their telecasts. Whilesports telecasts have used augmented reality to improve “viewability,” some have used itfor advertising purposes as well.The NFL, MLB, Hockey and Soccer have all started using the technology for advertisingpurposes. SportsVision has been a leader in this technology, using augmented reality todisplay advertisement on the boards at hockey games, behind home plate at baseballgames, and on the field at football games. “Marketers always want to put their brand closeto the action, but Sportvision can put them into the game — literally. Virtual advertising isexecuted during game play when viewership is at its peak and fans are sharply focused onthe game. A pitcher never sees the virtual image behind home plate when hes peering in ata hitter, but millions of fans at home do.”6 The picture to the right illustrates whatSportsVision is doing. Notice the Taco Bell advertisement behind home plate. That isvisible to viewers at home, but not to the pitcher or players on the field. 3
  • 4. Google Glasses 2012Another example of what SportsVision is doingis evident at NHL games. They use augmentedreality to display the Toyota advertisement onthe glass behind the goal. This is not visible inthe arena, as it would obstruct the view ofspectators, but it is visible to those viewing thegame on television. The use of augmentedreality for advertising is not just prevalent insports.App designers have seen the marketability ofthis technology, and have capitalized on it aswell. Le Bar Guide is an app that usesaugmented reality to help bar hoppers findlocal establishments. “As with similarlocation-based AR apps, Le Bar (that’s Frenchfor bar, by the way) Guide will assist you infinding the nearest watering hole, give youratings and then even point you to a taxiwithin stumbling distance.”7 There aresimilar apps that use AR to help users findand rate restaurants which work very muchlike Le Bar Guide.So how do the current uses of augmentedreality tie in to Google Glasses? The GoogleGlasses can capitalize on all of these currentuses and more. The difference is, they willnow be located right in front of your eyesrather than in your phone.One key industry that could benefit from this is tourism, and navigation which both share asimilar interest. First, tourists can use Google Glasses to locate hotel rooms. The glassescan give possible customers the ability to look at a hotel and see room availability rightaway along with reviews from others. They may even be able to pull up images of the 4
  • 5. Google Glasses 2012rooms and their prices. One other area that could benefit is navigation, both on foot and bycar. Walking tours could benefit from this technology, as patrons can be guided by theglasses, which can be orchestrated by tourist organizations or by locals who uploadpopular routes. It could also help by locating popular restaurants, and locals could uploadreviews of those restaurants. Automotive navigation could be a potential market for theglasses as well. Wallit is another example of how a company is using augmented reality atspecific locations to bring people together. “It lets users check in at particular locations andleave messages for others; but also has the addedbonus of letting users add augmented reality-style photos to get their points across morevisually.”8 This application can be implementeddirectly into the Google Glasses format and willbenefit greatly from it.The sports industry could also benefittremendously from the development of GoogleGlasses. At this time, the only viewers of sportingevents that can benefit from augmented realityare the ones watching on TV. Google Glasses willchange that. Now spectators at the sporting eventcan benefit from this technology as well.Sporting events that can instantly benefit fromGoogle Glasses are The NFL and NASCAR.Currently they both use AR to enhance the“viewability” for fans at home, but fans at theevents can benefit from AR first down markersand the ability to recognize drivers and currentdata as well.Advertisers at sporting events can use thetechnology in Google Glasses to reach bothviewers at home and fans at the game. As theviewers are using the glasses to improve theirexperience, advertisers can put advertisementsinto the field of view as well that are normallyonly visible to those at home.Another industry that has utilized augmentedreality and can benefit from Google Glasses is the golf industry. Amateur golfers alreadybenefit from devices such as Sky Caddie which give real time yardages. Google Glasses cangive golfers the ability to get real time yardages right in front of your eye, along withuploaded shot selection advice from course pro’s and other golfers.The use of Google Glasses is not only beneficial in the sports and tourism industries, but inretail industries as well. As shoppers walk through the mall, they can use the glasses to 5
  • 6. Google Glasses 2012find sales on clothing, or see what stores have to offer, and what others are saying aboutthose stores and their current selection of apparel. As they walk past a manikin in awindow, the glasses can tell the shopper the price of the outfit and what sizes andadditional colors the store has in stock. Car lots could use the Google Glasses in a similarway. As shoppers walk around the lot, the glasses can display the mileage of cars and theirprices and amenities. It could even link to Carfax to give shoppers a background on thecars. Car lots could even sort their cars so that the glasses could guide user’s right to asection that meets their specific criteria.One final industry that can benefit from Google Glasses is the security issues. Social mediapromotes the rapid movement of information, and that information could be used toimprove the safety of citizens. Google Glasses should have the technology to use facialrecognition, which could be used to ID fugitives, or other criminals, by receivinginformation released through different media channels.Business Implications of Google GlassesAugmented reality, which is the interface of Google Glasses, is going to continue to growand will likely become an important tool used by consumers who want to find informationon companies. Conversely, marketers will need to utilize this technology to promote theirbusinesses, their products, and use its social networking capabilities to reach prospectivecustomers. It is also going to revolutionize the way people intermingle by giving them theability to find social networks within their field of view. As the technology behind GoogleGlasses develops and ultimately catches own, it will shape the way businesses andindividuals look at the world around them (no pun intended).As businesses begin to see its capabilities as a marketing and informational tool, GoogleGlasses have the potential to have implications many industries. John Lynch, with SearchEngine Watch says that it will have tremendous marketing benefits in a few key areas. Thefirst is the popularity of daily deal promotions. “Google HUD might finally give the searchgiant a meaningful mechanism to compete in the daily deals market. If Groupon’s IPO hastaught us one thing, it’s that the daily deal market isn’t nearly as easy to replicate aspreviously assumed by business analysts. Imagine the power of being able to subtly offerdaily deal specials to users as they walk down a street. This would offer advertisers a newdistribution method and likely increase the value of a daily deal impression.”9 One of thekey issues with daily deal websites is that we may not need the promotion at the time thatwe receive it. However, if the deal pops up for a restaurant as you are walking by, thetiming may be better and the deal will seem more appealing.According to Mr. Lynch, another way businesses can utilize Google Glasses is withadvertising. He states that “We all know that Google is saving search histories. If you’veexpressed a previous search interest in yoga, it might be extremely helpful to be notified of 6
  • 7. Google Glasses 2012a yoga studio near your home or office as you walk by.”9 In advertising, there is a term forcluttered, unclear advertising. That term is“noise” and it makes it difficult for consumers todistinguish between different advertisements asyou can see in the example to the right. Thisproblem is especially prevalent in high trafficretail areas where many advertisements can belayered on top of each other. This makes itdifficult for consumers to find relevantadvertising because it can be drowned out dueto all of the clutter. Some areas even limit the amount of advertising retail stores can do, as it can reduce the aesthetic nature of the street. Google Glasses may serve as a solution to this problem by helping the user sift through the clutter and find exactly what they are looking for. Or allow retailers to advertise more prevalently in areas where it is regulated. This could also include reviews uploaded by other users for specific businesses as well, which will have a big impact on how people shop.There are some drawbacks that could impact the popularity of Google Glasses. The firstinvolves the glasses themselves. Sunglasses are considered a fashionable accessory, andhave often added a “coolness factor” to the person wearing them. John Lynch goes on tosay “that they must look incredibly cool or risk getting tossed into the trash heap oftechnology products that are technologically advanced, but ultimately get rejected by amass audience for superficial aesthetic reasons.”9Another challenge that could arise is the user friendlinessof the glasses. As with any technology; there will be alearning curve associated with Google Glasses. Somepredict the glasses will not be operated by hands, but bythe head movements of the user. If this is the case, it willlikely take a lot of practice from users to get fullycomfortable using the glasses.There are also concerns about the security risk of having an inconspicuous camera. Havingthe camera pointed in a way where people may not recognize it, opens up the opportunity 7
  • 8. Google Glasses 2012for snooping. This could put customer banking information and other sensitive materialsat risk.Like any revolutionary technology, Google Glasses are going to change the way we shop,play, and ultimately coexist. Businesses are going to recognize its potential and utilize it tomarket their products in a new way, utilizing the promotional potential of the glasses.Spectators may one day utilize this technology to improve their viewing experience atsporting events. Marketers may then use the technology to add AR advertisements atsporting events specifically for those spectators. Google Glasses may serve as a potentiallaunching pad for current augmented reality apps like Wallit which use social media inpublic places to allow users to communicate with each other. They will have to overcomethe physical and social challenges that are associated with being a technological pioneer;however, once the technology gets legs, it will take off and completely change the way wesee the world around us. 8
  • 9. Google Glasses 2012Works Cited1. Brown, D.. "Google glasses are a prescription for disaster." PCWorld.com. N.p., 2012. Web. 1 Apr 2012. <http://www.pcworld.com/article/250507/google_glasses_are_a_prescription_for_disaste r.html>.2. Bonsor Kevin, . "How augmented reality works." Howstuffworks.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Apr 2012. <http://www.howstuffworks.com/augmented-reality.htm>.3. Henn, S.. "Google Goggles: Is The Future Right Before Our Eyes?." Npr.org. N.p., 2012. Web. 1 Apr 2012.4. "Hud google glasses are real and they are coming soon." 9to5google.com. N.p., 2012. Web. 1 Apr 2012. <http://9to5google.com/2012/02/06/hud-google-glasses-are-real-and-they-are- coming-soon/>.5. Smith, Craig. "Augmented Reality: Bringing 3D Virtual Reality to Real World Marketing Campaigns." What were talking about. Wedu.com, 20 036. "Virtual Advertisements." Sportsvision.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Apr 2012. <http://www.sportvision.com/base-virtual-ads.html>. Image citation as well.7. Elliot, A.. "10 amazing augmented reality iphone apps." Mashable.com. N.p., 2009. Web. 1 Apr 2012. <http://mashable.com/2009/12/05/augmented-reality-iphone/>. Image citation as well.8. Lunden, Ingrid. "With $1.2M Of Seed Funding, A SoMoLo App For Augmented Reality Fans: Wallit." Techcrunch.com. N.p., 3/6/2012. Web. 1 Apr 2012. <http://techcrunch.com/2012/03/06/with-1-2m-of-seed-funding-a-somolo-app-for- augmented-reality-fans-wallit/>. Image citation as well.9. Lynch, J.. "Google hud glasses: Possible features & implications for marketers." Searchenginewatch.com. N.p., 2012. Web. 1 Apr 2012. <http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2154712/Google-HUD-Glasses-Possible-Features- Implications-for-Marketers>. 9
  • 10. Google Glasses 201210. N.d. Image. http://www.augmentedplanet.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/bionic-eye4-420- 90.jpg 10