Lifecasting is not a new thing. The first ‘lifecaster,’ (although it didn’t become known as that until 2007) a guy named Steve Mann, began streaming his life online 24/7 back in 1994. Yes, way back at the beginning of the internet.
The fact that it’s been around for so long and not gained much momentum seems to indicate that it won’t be doing so any time soon. But Google’s latest innovation could change all that…
Over recent years, lifecasting has been done with webcams and portable cameras, but Google now has a new project that could offer up an even smarter solution: Project Glass.
Project Glass involves ‘augmented reality headsets,’ commonly just called smart glasses. It’s been dubbed, ‘technology that frees you to explore and share your world while keeping you in the moment.’
The technology itself is a little scary. Essentially, it’s like a hands free smart phone, but way more advanced and in the form of glasses. It looks as though smart glasses can do everything a smart phone can – maps, directions, calls, record video, give reminders, take photos and more – the world in your hands, or rather, in your face.
This video gives a clearer vision of Google’s latest innovative technology works:
Businesses Using Smart Glasses
Obviously we’re a long way off smart glasses hitting the mainstream market, but their potential for businesses is awesome. The advances made in mobile technology have already revolutionised the business world, making customer interaction quick and effortless. Is the next step Project Glass?
Smart glasses and their abilities are clearly influenced by, but far more advanced than previous tools in the lifecasting realm. Before this, lifecasting was not a hugely viable business or marketing tool. The ability to stream the everyday workings of your office isn’t exactly going to bring in great numbers of customers.
But smart glasses offer so much more than that. Not only do these glasses allow video to be streamed online, but they also offer the ability to connect with your customers on a much more personal level.
Instantly sharing useful information and the latest developments at your company – directly from your own eyes – invites a wonderful opportunity to communicate with your customers. You’ll be able to answer their questions in real time, as well as gather insights from them that could lead to further developments. You’ll be able to find out exactly what your customers want and adjust your course immediately.
But more than that, this innovation would allow you to connect with your customers on a deeper level. By sharing as much as possible with your customers, you’ll form a bond with them that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to, a bond that builds their trust in you and turns them into a loyal fan. With technology like this you can literally allow others to view the world in your eyes and from your perspective.
Your personality will become a huge part of your business, and any successful business needs to show that it is run by a real live person – because nobody wants to interact with a computer or a faceless being – and so the trust will run even deeper.
I can see opportunities at events to publicly stream your experience and the conversations you have with others. How about seeing a typical morning rush from the eyes of a Starbucks employee?
Customers Using Smart Glasses
It’s not just using the smart glasses yourself that could benefit your business though. What about the world at large? Countless people – potential customers – would become easy targets for marketing and advertising campaigns.
It’s not a great stretch of the imagination to see the magnitude of this technology as a marketing tool. Just as smart phones and the data we enter into them work in the favour of the advertising world, so too will smart glasses. Status updates on Facebook, likes, +1s and retweets all serve as indicators to a person’s wants, needs and buying choices, therefore allowing advertising campaigns to be targeted directly towards the people most likely to buy from them.
And there’s no reason Project Glass couldn’t incorporate this mechanism too. The only difference is, the adverts would be popping up directly in front of a potential customer’s eyes. Now if that’s not targeted advertising, what is?
There is also the social aspect of sharing the important events in our lives – imagine thousands of people streaming their own experiences of a natural disaster – all with GPS technology; this could allow the emergency services as well as support organisations to plan their assistance.
Life as a continuous public stream?
While lifecasting is certainly an interesting concept, it seems unlikely to take hold as a mainstream form of online communication. It’s a little bit too Big Brother (the TV show, not the omniscient overlord) – people just tune in for the highlights, not for the continuous stream, because people’s lives are pretty boring on the whole. Social media and blogging are likely to maintain the stronghold in that department.
But rather than viewing smart glasses as a lifecasting tool, consider them the perfect accompaniment to social media and online communication. And from a marketing and advertising perspective, smart glasses do seem to offer up a whole realm of possibility on a platter.
Project Glass is certainly frightening technology; nothing before has had the potential to become such an integral part of a person’s life, and with that come incredible advertising opportunities, as well as a never-before-seen ability to truly connect with customers.