Iâ€™m sure you all thought that Google Glass was developed to be the next big thing and generate billions of dollars in hardware and app revenues. You were probably right but the latest theories are exposing a trove of potentially massive revenue streams to supplement, even surpass those already existing.
But before I get to those, letâ€™s take a look at some of the brilliant and hair-brained ideas that have come up so far. I have purposely waited months to even write about Google Glass (GG) just so I could disseminate â€˜the wheat from the chaff.â€™
The idea of wearing a computer and screen strapped to your head is bizarre enough but the idea that you can be doing something that requires concentration and also be looking at that tiny screen in the corner of your eye seems even more bizarre.
For a start, it has been drummed into me that as a male I can only do one thing at a time. Bad start. Secondly, I canâ€™t use a phone and drive at the same time, by law, so how is the law going to cope with the distraction caused by GG. And how many people will fall over in the street or run into lampposts because they just got to a naughty bit in the â€˜Game of Thronesâ€™ episode they were watching whilst walking.
OK, Iâ€™m dreaming here but I can tell you the one and only reason I would invest in GG is to be able to link a face to a name! How brilliant would that be to look at someone and their name jump up in big letters before your eyes. Mind you, the technology may have to come some way to avoid errors. Could be a tad embarrassing calling a Mary a Michael and vice versa.
But I digress. Apart from all the brilliant things you can now do with a smartphone like Google maps, reading emails and IM, and er, Google maps your GG will presumably be used for other things. I havenâ€™t worked out yet where they hide the keyboard to do most of the stuff I do now. Maybe it will all be through speech recognition? So now I will also have to talk to myself as walk along. I cane see where this is leading.
One Connecticut-based company will show off GG for law enforcement and emergency personnel at an upcoming public safety conference. I guess in time paramedics will be able to show their base the patientâ€™s injuries and take step-by-step instructions on treatment. Thatâ€™s good.
There are many that question the privacy issues of GG, like someone wearing a set sending images of you over the internet without your permission.Â Seems like that has been happening with plain old smartphones for some time. In any case, you could always refuse to talk to anyone wearing GG. They will be pretty obvious and for a while, and will stand out as nerds anyway. Wealthy nerds at that.
But, theÂ New York TimesÂ reckons it has cracked the real reason for GG coming into existence. The theory is based on a new patent Google has been awarded that tracks eye movement of the GG wearer. Â So why would that be of any value? Well according the NYT, the GG â€œwould send images and the direction the person wearing the device was looking at to a server. The system would then identify real-world ads (presumably through the front-facing camera) that the person wearing the gadget had seen, allowing Google to then charge the advertiser.â€
Wowee, zowee! There it is, another way for Google to charge advertisers. This makes theÂ MAC-collecting rubbish bins in LondonÂ look childâ€™s play. This is the real big kahuna of moneymaking ideas. Every time you look at an ad, any ad, presumably for more than a nanosecond, Google will be able to record it and charge the advertiser and also build a profile of you for future reference.
The mind boggles. What if I stare at a picture of a beautiful model for more than two seconds, will my wife receive a text message and the divorce lawyers get tipped off? Thatâ€™s it â€“ definitely no GG for me!
First published as The Insider at TM Forum.