What If... Project Glass could revolutionise real world advertising for Google?
Google's Project Glass is one of the most innovative and exciting implementations of wearable computing I have seen so far, the original demonstration video was full of fantastic ideas and it felt like this could be the future. Obviously Google's main business is in selling adverts, not hardware. So they obviously stand to gain something for their advertising business through Project Glass; most likely it is a lot more of your personal data, where you go, what interests you etc etc.
But I recently remembered a Google Patent that was reported on in 2010 (Link to Wired.com article) which described a way that Google could re-sell real world advertising for people to see in Google Street View. The basic idea is that when browsing through Street View, when you see a poster in a window, or a billboard on the side of the road, rather than seeing the old and out dated advert you would instead see a recent, Google-sold advert in it's place.
When I first read about it, whilst it seemed like a fantastic sci-fi type invention, part of me couldn't help but think it would be largely useless. If I'm looking through Street View it's likely for a specific purpose - and that purpose isn't to see advertisements.
However, what if the same technology could be applied on the fly?
What if Google could sell Augmented Reality advertising? What if a shop could buy a cheap Google AdBoard for their shop, never have to spend a penny again on printing etc because customers looking at the board through Project Glass would instantaneously see an advert for something inside the shop that is relevant for them?
For example, what if a singular advertising board could be simultaneously displaying adverts for each individual family member? For entirely different products? It would completely change the way local shops advertise both on the web and in real life.
For consumers it would be a way of subsidising the Google Glass hardware (obviously not 100%) and seeing more relevant advertising, I know 'targeted ads' has negative connotations but if I'm going to have to see adverts, I may as well see ones relevant to me.
Your average 'Ma and Pa' store could suddenly become incredibly technologically focused, their products and pricing automatically linking to Google Shopper, which in turn produces targeted advertising for customers walking by their Google Adboard. Once these shops have this fantastic new advertising built into their store, you can only assume they would be more willing to allow a company like Google control their payment systems too, enter Google Wallet..
Project Glass with this feature, I feel, would be a big game changer for local advertising. As personal computing becomes more and more mobile the advertising market will be set for another revolution similar to when online advertising first took off.
I know I may have gotten a bit carried away with this 'What If' but it just seemed very plausible when I started thinking about it!
Of course there would be large technological hurdles, not least of all Project Glass only covers one eye rather than both so I'm unsure that it would work smoothly but in theory (at least to me anyway) it seems like it could be a great idea.