Posted by Tom Foremski - April 5, 2012
(A Google engineer models 'Project Glass.')
The Google video of its Project Glass, wearable glasses concept is much more than a gimmick, it's a preview of a brilliant business strategy. Take a look:
Google's augmented reality glasses are the key to a killer business strategy: how to provide Google to its users 24/7 - it's instant search on steroids. You'll be able to Google reality anytime, and all the time.
Facebook can keep the social network space and the ten and more hours a month that its users spend there; Google has it's eyes on the biggest prize of all — reality. Forget social, 24/7 is the new battleground.
Google is ready and able to mediate your visual and auditory experience as you move through your day. Whenever, and wherever you are, Google's glasses will tirelessly filter and overlay your experience with helpful, and commercial messages.
Gone will be our pure, unmediated experience of the world. Will it be a fair trade?
The few discussions about technology for augmented reality apps like Google glasses always carry a positive message, that it's an 'enhanced' reality, it's more reality. In this example, it's a G+ reality.
But it's clearly a fallacy to portray augmented reality as being an "enhanced" reality. Reality is reality, it's 100% all the time, every time. There is no such thing as 120% reality or 400% reality.
Augmented reality is always an occluded reality, it always obscures something, it always takes something away from a person's experience of the world.
The overlay of Google's search results, messaging, and advertising onto our reality is already here for a good part of our day, when we are at our desks, and increasingly now, when we are mobile and have our phones switched on.
The next big market to conquer is to win users that are always on, always Googling, always connected.
The video of Google glasses should be seen as far more than a quirky project dreamed up by a few engineers and set to Apple-like cheery, tinkly advertising music. (That type of music has become synonymous with a friendly, techno-optimist future by listeners, thanks to the stirling media work of the late Steve Jobs (and Madison Avenue (not late... not yet)).)
Google has identified the next market battle ground: 24/7.
What larger market is there?