Wearable technologies will become more widely available (Google Glass is reportedly scheduled for general release in 2014, as are a number of potential rivals), and these devices will collectively be like rocket fuel propelling the growth of the Internet of Things. Up until now, we have only been able to imagine what the world will be like when it’s full of portable smart devices like Glass. By 2014, these devices will have become widely used products, a mainstream staple of everyday life.
When wearable devices enter the mass market, alongside the already practically ubiquitous sensor-enabled consumer smartphones, most of us at that point will possess some sort of sentient “aiming” device or another — devices that are not only capable of interacting just by looking but also are capable of generating continuous streams of data that enterprises can analyze in real time about where we are looking.
My company creates new user experiences and analytics by recording where people are looking in real time and knowing when two or more glasses are looking at the same thing. We believe this technology will open up a range of use cases that will change sports, entertainment and retail forever.
Brand new, cutting-edge experiences will become possible when multiple people who are all wearing glass are able to share an experience together live. At CrowdOptic, we are currently deploying applications that enable Glass wearers to join Google Hangouts on Air instantly, just by looking at the action.
We are also enabling real-time broadcasting by the members of the hangout to the other members, simply by sharing their video streams. Fans are literally seeing the court live through the eyes of their favorite player. Stanford Men’s Basketball became the first team to deploy this with us in real-time action.
This technology is already in high demand in the world of sports and entertainment, and I expect by 2014 it will be pervasive at live events.
In advertising, impressions of physical real estate like billboards will be trackable, and live augmented reality interaction with brands in the physical world will be commonplace. Real-time bidding for advertising will be available for events that gain the notice of multiple device wearers, right as they’re unfolding.
New mapping applications will become available where two glasses wearers can share their locations and provide directions for each other to follow through visual breadcrumbs within the viewer of their Glass interface. This is the project our team is currently co-developing along with Carnegie Mellon University.
Shopping malls, retail stores and casinos will be able to map their customers’ exact path to purchase by observing how people navigate through their environment and what they look at before they buy. This field of contextual analytics will expand as contextual databases are created to understand how people behave wearing Glass.
The data will also spawn user-facing applications that will empower the wearer by making him or her faster or more efficient, based on the contextual experience and analytics of other people (think avoiding traffic, navigating a stadium, etc.).
People won’t wear Glass to browse the entire Internet; they’ll use their computers for that. They will rely on Glass for quick, practical point solutions that will allow them to meet their needs quickly and effectively. Analytics will play a key role in providing the smart contextual cueing and prompting of the individual based on the experiences of others.
Jon Fisher is chief executive officer and co-founder of CrowdOptic. Prior to CrowdOptic, Jon served as CEO of Bharosa (Oracle NASDAQ: ORCL), NetClerk (BidClerk) and AutoReach (AutoNation NYSE: AN). Jon is a recipient of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of The Year Award (Emerging Category, 2007). Contact Jon at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information about Jon is available at Wikipedia.