RTC Perspectives: VISOR, the Original Google Glasses
Google may soon release Google Glasses, eyeglasses capable of acting like a computer. While they do not improve eyesight, Google Glasses provide information not naturally available to humans. This is not a new idea—Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge sported VISOR glasses on Star Trek: The Next Generation, which allowed him to function at a heightened level of awareness and efficiency. Likewise, Google Glasses will improve humans’ daily reality, and will likely include an advertising model. Marketers can prepare for this by considering their audiences’ behavior and their business model. Key Information
Geordi La Forge, a character from Star Trek: The Next Generation and its feature films, sported a device across his eyes known as a VISOR. The VISOR gave La Forge, who was naturally blind, heightened sensitivity beyond that of a normal human eye and an ability to detect movement and monitor things like mood, temperature and heart rate. It also provided visual data through infrared and microscopic levels of energy. The result was an augmented awareness about his surroundings and a level of acuteness that made him excellent at his job as helmsman aboard the USS Enterprise-D.
While not exactly the same thing, the pending release of Google Glasses1
sparks images reminiscent of La Forge’s VISOR. Google Glasses will seek to augment the power of human eyes in similar ways as the VISOR. Google Glasses essentially act like a computer and will likely include a built-in camera, GPS features, facial recognition software, and eventually a marketing platform for time- and locationbased advertising.2
Like the VISOR, this type of technology will improve a user’s experience in the moment.
Implications The VISOR and Google Glasses are similar in two important ways: 1) both provide sensory and location-based information, and 2) both make users more efficient in their daily lives. As such, Google will, no doubt, create a platform for marketers to tap into the experience, in order to monetize the opportunity. In preparation for technology like this, marketers can start considering what their approach might be. To do this, marketers should brainstorm on the following topics:
Author Sara Collis, Associate Director Digital Integration & Innovation
- Audience technology preferences. Are your customers early adopters of technology and will they be comfortable with ads in their face (literally)? When is the best time to reach them and what offers will be most compelling?
- Couponing and flash sales. Do your users redeem coupons and respond to flash sales? Do these offers improved your customers’ loyalty or do they only appeal to one-time shoppers?
- Geo-targeted and location-based information. Does your product or brand offer geo-based services? Will your sales improve if you can intercept users at the point of sale?
2 www.nytimes.com/2012/02/23/technology/google-glasses-will-be-powered-by-android.html; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geordi_La_ForgeStar Trek ® is a registered trademark of Paramount Pictures in the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Star Trek ©, Star Trek: The Next Generation ©, Star Trek Generation and movies ©, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine ©, Star Trek: Voyager © and Star Trek: Enterprise ©, are trademarks and copyright of PARAMOUNT PICTURES.