Yesterday, Google released details of Project Glass, a futuristic augmented reality system that puts all of the functionality of a smartphone into a wearable device that resembles eyeglasses.
Although it’s still a concept, it’s hard not to dream about the possibilities for a platform that seamlessly integrates and blurs the lines between our digital and physical environments—both as individuals and as small business owners.
“We think technology should work for you — to be there when you need it and get out of your way when you don’t,” wrote Babak Parviz, Steve Lee, and Sebastian Thrun, three Google employees who are working on Google Glass.
As you watch the video produced by Google, you can’t help but imagine what it would be like tearing down the 4th wall—that clunky divide they reference that requires fumbling around for your smartphone every time you want to access information, get directions, take photos, record notes, or have a video chat with a friend. It's the same clunky divide that's kept QR codes from catching on with consumers.
Beyond mirroring your typical smartphone functionality, wearable computing and augmented reality could transform the way people shop. Back in 2009, Cisco gave us a glimpse at the future of shopping with a proof of concept for a virtual dressing room.
The technology would not only make it possible for customers to interact with products in new and different ways when visiting brick and mortar businesses (as in the Cisco example), it would also allow them to virtually “try on” a pair of shoes or a shirt when shopping online (something that’s just not possible today) or a new haircut before they make a purchase.
Although the technology is still a few years away, it doesn’t hurt to start thinking about the future now. I hope you’ll take some time out of your day to kick up your feet, suspend disbelief, and let your imagination run wild.
How would Google Glass and augmented reality change the way your customers interact with and purchase your products and services? How might you be able to incorporate the technology into your marketing efforts?
By: Shawn Graham