Just when I was starting to think that I had seen it all, there goes Google and tells me I could actually see more, see it better and see it closer than ever. Project Glass is a development program at Google X Lab featuring augmented reality vision through technologically enhanced “glasses”.

Although the concept is not new or even recent, it is now feasible, in which a head mounted display or “Augmented reality glasses” allow the user to receive additional information on everything he/she focuses sight on. This means that when a person wearing this device does something as simple as looking up to the sky, the current temperature and weather forecast will be displayed right in sight of the user.

Google is promoting this technology by showing some of the features embedded, such as displaying the current time along with your appointments for the day, or help you re-route your trajectory on your way to work if the subway station is closed by using geo-localization capabilities and providing directions to the closest station (or best public transportation alternative). Ultimately, facial recognition features will eventually be added, which will allow you to learn facts about a person you talk to by displaying data from their public Facebook or LinkedIn profiles.

But let’s put all these cool features aside and focus on what this technology represents to the business world. While Google may be able to anticipate substantial sales on its augmented reality glasses, the real big money will likely come from a source different than the users themselves. Corporations seeking opportunities to sell more and serve better are very likely to pay for information on customers or play ads tailored to their consumers. Think about the way Amazon or Netflix work when using algorithms to determining suggestions based on your preferences, now imagine this happing on every store and every purchase you make. Companies will know what you like and will suggest you how and where to get it. Potentially, companies will be able to display’s messages telling you something along these lines: “we suggest you try this peanut butter with the jelly you are looking at right now”.

You think this is a good thing? Well, if you thought you were being bombarded with adds everywhere before, it is just about to get real. Which brings me to my final question: When will this dreamy technology be available at the stores? The answer is (drumroll): soon, very soon! The reality is that the technology already exists, as Google will be using the Android platform to operate the “glasses” and the final product is currently under testing. It is speculated that the product will be available at any point within the next 24 months.

More than ever, technology continues to play major platform for information sharing environments and information continues to be the major driving force in business. Information is power and as a consumer you will continue to share yours just by looking at your daily groceries; nevertheless, you will also have access to much more information than what you can possible manage, and now thanks to Google’s magic, anytime you wear your augmented reality glasses and look out your window you will remember that there is always more than what meets the eye.
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Diego De la Garza

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