How Will Project Glass Impact Marketers?

I will be speaking at xPotomac this February 25. Co-organizer Patrick Ashamalla and I are presenting together on Google Project Glass and augmented reality. Here’s a sneak preview of our session.

Google Project Glass promises to take ubiquitous mobile Internet access and layer unprecedented information into our day-to-day existence. While Google doesn’t like the term augmented reality, wearable computing could move this concept from a geeky work in progress to a breakthrough Internet application.

This glass monocle features a wirelessly connected computer built into it. A half-inch display allows you to take and share photos, chat and access information like calendars and maps on the Web. Bone conducting audio will allow information to transmit without interfering with outside sounds.

Scheduled for release in 2014, Project Glass holds so much promise Apple and Microsoft have competing projects.

Wearable computing empowers two things: Sharing and accessing information anywhere.

It’s likely that wearing the Internet will bring incredible utility, particularly to mobile workforces and those of us who find ourselves out about frequently.

If successful, Glass will render the mobile phone irrelevant. We can pull our heads out of our mobile phones. Thank god, less car accidents and, um, telephone pole incidents.

But in doing so it may actually worsen the problem of mindless access to the Internet.

project glass
Image by Andy Sternberg

We will no longer have to punch in our security code, swipe the phone, and access an application to access our networks, work, personal projects, entertainment information, and other distractions. Instead, we will simply need to voice a command and go.

Another outcome will be a reduced reliance on text. Voice communications, from search via Siri to social updates, will dominate wearable computing. After all, typing while wearing Glass doesn’t seem like an easy input method.

This last point is not something to fantasize about. Losing text as a primary search and input method will shake up both the PR and advertising sectors, and put an even stronger emphasis on visual and audio communications. All those Instagram posts and YouTube videos will become even more powerful.

With great new technology, we will have different challenges. Such is the rise of new media.

What do you think about the impact Project Glass (and its competitors) will have?

Register for xPotomac this February 25 to learn more about Project Glass and augmented reality. This post is an updated version of a Google Project Glass post on the xPotomac site.


  • I know it might sound silly, but on challenge I think they face is people’s reluctance to wear technology. I wear glasses. I hate them! I do not wear a watch and much to my wife’s chagrin, I do not wear a wedding ring. I tried using those bluetooth headsets but they drove me nuts. I could be an exception. The technology is amazing. I can’t wait to see your presentation.

    • And then there’s Nike+ Fuelband, which has changed every athletes perception of training. I’m not sure I agree, I believe it comes down to form and ease.

  • “Form and ease,” per Geoff’s comment, may have to balance out with the disformity and an ill-at-ease feeling that Google Glass may also inspire, Case in point: Jeremiah Owyang speculating, in a Six Pixels podcast with Mitch Joel, that one day, wearing Google Glass, we’ll be able to see someone’s Klout score floating above their heads as we walk down the street. I’m not sure if that qualifies as TMI, as my teens would say, or not enough information, simply amplifying the human inclination toward superficial first impressions. Of course, walking down that same street, I’m sure marketers will be able to make all sorts of content, offers, etc. materialize before our eyes. Let’s hope that Google Glass comes with effective privacy features.

  • With new opportunity comes new challenge. The closer AI search is integrated into human nature, the marketing will need to transform/adopt even more wisely into living patterns and dynamics because it will become that much easier to resist what is perceived as intrusion. Whoever competes based not sorely on utility but the one that understand people will win. The challenge will come not only in forms of adoption at first but as MSFT, GOOG and APPL as well as startups compete to offer more intuitive learning machine. I don’t believe the one that adds the most but the one that knows what to subtract will keep ahead. Any gap between the developers, marketers, consumers/enterprise needs will be another source of invention and revenue.

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