Oh, Google Glass. I just can't make up my mind about you.
On one hand, I have to live in this world, and you're a bit unsightly (pun intended). I am interested to see what kind of looks I could get walking around with you on, looking like a teenage orthodontic headset nightmare, smiling smugly because - as of this month - I will be able to instantly identify and even know a little scoop about the faces that are staring back at me in wonder.
On the other hand, perhaps you're more than just a fashion faux pas. Perhaps there's a place for you. Just like 3D glasses have a place in movie theaters (but perhaps not the home). Or like Segways have a place in the Chicago tourism circuit (but perhaps not college campuses). Perhaps your place is somewhere that making quick connections really matters or where hollering commands at your own face might be socially acceptable if it leads to instant data access.
I'm throwing on my Google Glass and looking at you, events space.
Let's be honest. There will be a handful of business people who adopt early and wear often. Are these the same people who sleep with their bluetooth bud in their ear? Maybe.
But, I do think that there might just be a pretty substantial use case for Google Glass in the events space because trade shows, exhibitions and conferences have the right kind of energy for the occasion. People are willing to step a little outside of their technological comfort zones for the benefit of connecting.
Isn't the purpose of event technology to help foster connections?
Recently, Ernie Smith published an article in Associations Now that helped me get a better understanding of what kind of value Google Glass might offer events. In Google Glass at Events: A First-Person View, Smith actually wears a pair around ASAE's 2013 Technology Conference & Expo to see if this technology had a place on the event planet or if they would likely go the way of the woolly mammoth in the very near future.
I encourage you to go out and read Smith's article, as it also includes a video in which he uses Google Glass to perform short video interviews with several attendees (who also answer some pretty interesting questions about technology that associations value - a double win!). It was great to read his unbiased points about the pros and cons of Google Glass as well as the opportunities for improvement, especially as it pertained to the events space.
My quick take, take it or leave it.
Here's what I'll say about it:
- From an aesthetic standpoint, keep working on it, Google - although perhaps they could be a great icebreaker in the short term. In the meantime, I'll wait for Google Contact Lenses to come out.
- From a usability perspective, sounds like the camera is where it's at. That has the events industry written all over it.
- From a reality perspective, I don't have high hopes for this becoming the "next big thing," but I do think there is opportunity for show organizers to incorporate these into events in a way that helps foster more and more connections between attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, and so on.