Google critically lacks indoor data. Project Glass is pure genius.


Google critically lacks indoor data. Project Glass is pure genius.

By now, you’ve probably see Google’s Project Glass video*.

In the last few days, as usual, the gossip magazines major tech blogs have written a lot of interesting words about the project; mostly how they think it’s ridiculous for people to wear a computer on their head and how Google is going to fail.

If you think about it, the Walkman was a pretty ridiculous ideas as well – people walking around with speakers on their head?!

Sergey Brin's Google Glass
Sergey Brin's Google Glass

Anyway, the reality is, Google’s glasses are most likely going to fail(?). Alternative machine human interaction and NLP technologies still haven’t matured (not even Siri – doesn’t work well with accents for instance). Further, besides a few early adopters, the masses are unlikely to be comfortable walking around with a screen on their face.

Let’s look at another project that is somewhat related to Google Glasses – Google Earth. A seemingly friendly project created by Google to grant you access to several motorable place in the civilized world. But also a project that gathers vast amount of location, business and activity data.

You see, to traverse the online-offline divide and continue it’s dominance in mobile advertising and to ultimately achieve a form of marketing I’ve termed ’brand serendipity’, Google must know everything.

Google earth has very little data on the interiors of malls, buildings, housing projects, public facilities etc. With most people spending a majority of their time indoors; that’s a massive gap in Google’s knowledge base.

So with indoor data; Google knows less that half of everything it should about the details of the spaces we occupy.

Now think about Google’s Glass Project. It’s basically a camera that gathers vast amounts of video that is fed to Google servers and processed by Google. Does “To improve this product, we gather anonymized performance and related data from this application” ring a bell?

Even if the Google’s Project Glass does fail to become part of the mainstream, you can be certain that a decent size of early adopters will make a dash for the product. Many of these will actively use the product. While doing so, they become mini Google Earth cars.

The Google Glass Project is genius. Even if it fails, it gives Google plenty of data about our cities, our lives and our dynamics.

A digital trojan?

* Google Project Glass Video

[Guest article contributed by Luke Sequeira, He is a Digital Product Strategist and is widely recognized as the least important man on earth. He loves meeting new people, advising their startups and stealing their ideas, usually in Vancouver, Toronto and Goa.
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