The latest in mobile technology is the development of Google Glass, a highly sought-after piece of kit that is worn like a pair of glasses, and projects an image straight onto the human eye. How will it affect mobile content?
The technology, which can be operated through the eye, a touch button on the side, and by voice control, is set to alter the rapidly-changing mobile content landscape. Here are Business Technology’s predictions on what might happen.
Hands-free camera recording may pave the way for journalists to change their content to give unique first-person video footage of current events, or a look at behind the scenes coverage that might not ordinarily be able to be filmed.
E2save’s Rob Hodges said: “What the public really want are shared experiences. Imagine watching a professional sports team where you can see the action from the players’ perspectives rather than a back row seat in the stand. The content filmed could be streamed onto the audiences’ smartphones, allowing sports entertainment like never before.”
The Kings are the first NBA team to offer fans an in-game Glass experience. Players don’t wear Glass during the game, but they have worn it during pre-game warm-ups.
“It’s this enthusiasm for experiences which will create an overwhelming need for Google Glass mobile content,” said Mr Hodges.
Anna Lawlor, co-director of digital and content marketing at Social i Media said: “I see Glass as increasing the types of user-generated content through its point-of-view camera, sharing experiences from tourism to sports, to sharing knowledge from recipes to how to play a musical instrument.”
However, with a limited number of early adopters, and prices still remaining high for the average person, it may be a few years before we see the true effects of user-generated content from a mainstream audience.
New ways of digital and visual storytelling
This could also lend itself to new ways of digital storytelling that can be viewed while on the move. The use of Google Glass lends itself to visual images, and text and pictures would have to be optimised and re-formatted to fit with the Glass’s dimensions.
The interactivity is right before the consumer’s eyes, meaning that linked content is immediately available to the user. Using geo-tagging to create a virtual world, the engagement and information would have to be more interesting and engaging.
Ms Lawlor continued: “I expect Glass to be used to access content but then for that content to be delivered in a different way to how it is delivered on other mobile devices.
“For example, both the New York Times and Guardian allow users to surface news content through Glass commands but deliver short summaries of the news in audio.”
Personalised content, including translations
Google’s content personalisation will be stronger as it detects more information from its users through using Glass, including the ability to translate content offline for the user.
While using Glass the user is signed into their Google account, meaning personalisation will be stronger and the results from searches will be more likely to hit the target audience and demographic. This will be useful as a tool for content marketing and building audience relationships.
This information could be sold on to third parties, and be used in social media feeds, and other websites too, based on the data that it holds about your habits and use of the product.
Increased engagement with brands and content in real-time through geo-tags
“Google Glass is going to open up a number of possibilities for brands and users alike,” said Louis Venter, CEO of digital marketing agency MediaVision. “For some brands it can create great engagement through Google+ as it will link to your Google Places more effectively. This will allow users to engage with the brand while walking close to a store and take advantage of a unique offer or promotion that they may be running.”
We are already seeing estate agents using Google Glass to create and share films with potential customers. This video from estate agent Trulia shows exactly how it might be used to show customers houses that are available, photographs and images from inside the property and numbers to arrange viewings, all instantly within Google Glass’s technology.
Faster content with push notifications projected straight into your vision
Forget getting your phone out, then tapping in your unlock code, and then clicking on your newspaper app to find out the latest breaking news.
In the future, content such as breaking news updates will flash up with push notifications on your Google Glass display if you tell it to, which could spur on the competition for yet faster breaking news updates among journalists.
Encouraged social sharing
Google Glass users will be encouraged to share their pictures, videos or findings online with better links to social networks – especially Google+.
As the ease of doing so on Glass will be increased, it is likely that this will result in more instantaneous marketing, checking in, tweeting and sharing of content. This could, as a result, mean that businesses tailor their content closer towards more that will be easier to share online, more so than is available already.
Not a replacement for laptops and phones
John Newbold, co-founder and creative director at digital innovation firm 383, estimates that Google Glass will be sidelined in a few years for Android watches for mass-market consumption, and that Glass won’t be a replacement for other digital devices as it is designed to be limited to research and development functions.
“In terms of mobile content, Google Glass is going to allow passive consumption of small bits of information at once, consumed through applications created for the device,” he said. “It’s not going to be used to browse lengthy information online, or become the main way of consuming content on the go.”
He gives examples where Glass would be insufficient, such as logging into accounts to buy products, and writing or reading large bits of text – the only interface is the clicker on the side, which would make these activities difficult.
“It’s not a replacement for your phone. It’s a way of providing a user with real-time information, navigation, tickets, and times, in a context-dependent environment which adds to the user experience.”
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