What Google Glass means for advertising

In April last year, Google answered the “what’s next for smartphones?” question when they announced their latest in paradigm-changing technology – Google Glass. It now seems they may have also answered the “what’s next for advertising?” question at the same time.

On Thursday last week (August 15th) Google was granted a new patent for a Google Glass-based ad system dubbed “Pay-per-gaze”.  Using eye-tracking technology, the system would allow Google to charge advertisers for the number of times someone literally looked at their ad.

For advertisers themselves, the analytics that could be performed on their ads suddenly becomes mind-boggling.

But what else could be in store for consumers who are wandering around with an augmented-reality interface strapped to their face?

Here are just a few places this technology could go in the not so distant future:

  • augmented reality billboards – imagine looking up at a billboard and then seeing it burst in to life. Think the Jaws 19 billboard in Back To The Future 2!
  • window displays and POS – as the technology reaches critical mass, you may start to see POS react to your stare delivering a personalised experience for every viewer
  • pay-per-emotion – the patent also made mention of tracking eye-dilation to determine the viewer’s emotional state. This would allow Google to charge extra if your ads made an emotional connection
  • connecting members with offers -as customers walk around a store certain products jump out at them that have special offers, or are particularly attractive to their customer segment type.

And where to from there?

In November last year the Puzzlebox Orbit was launched on the crowd funding website, Kickstarter.com As reported by CNN, this is a brainwave-controlled toy helicopter that literally lets you navigate by thinking. Users simply need to wear a special headband and think where they want the helicopter to fly.

How long until this technology is built into the likes of Google Glass? How long until you can call a friend, make a Google search, or buy something online, simply by thinking about it?

Author: Ed Bell, Senior Creative

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