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I used to live in Manhattan’s Financial District, right next to Bowling Green at the tip of the island, not far from Wall Street. There’s a spectacular stroll from Battery Park alongside the Hudson River parallel to the West Side Highway and I used it as often as I could. Sometimes for walking, sometimes for [...]

by Jerry “Doctor Spin” Silver // Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn
Senior Digital Strategist // Spin Factory

I used to live in Manhattan’s Financial District, right next to Bowling Green at the tip of the island, not far from Wall Street.

There’s a spectacular stroll from Battery Park alongside the Hudson River parallel to the West Side Highway and I used it as often as I could.

Sometimes for walking, sometimes for running and exercising, sometimes also just for sitting there on a bench, looking out towards the Statue of Liberty and thinking big thoughts about life.

I remember that I walked upwards this stroll on the 4th of July, 2011.

It was late in the evening and the New York heat was immense. We were trying to find a good spot to catch some fireworks, but as a Swede, I wasn’t too concerned with finding one.

After all, it wasn’t my holiday.

But we did find a good spot in time and as the fireworks began, I was in awe.

I can’t really describe it. The lights from the city, the pressing heat, aroused people everywhere, the highrises, the sounds from the streets. And then… the magnificent fireworks, of course.

Still I had just this one thought going through my head:

“I wish my wife was here to see this with me.”

I tried to take pictures for her and I even recorded video. Still, not the same thing.

Now, Google is trying to create a technology that would allow for people to literally see the world through the eyes of others.

And I guess all readers of my blog know about Google Glass already.

But have you seen their latest video? If not, have a look.

The video isn’t clever CGI—this is how it actually looks.

And by giving it voice commands – “Ok Glass” – this is what the device really does.

Here’s what you see: the time is displayed, with a small amount of text underneath that reads “ok glass.” That’s how you get Glass to wake up to your voice commands. Actually, it’s a two-step process. First you have to touch the side of the device (which is actually a touchpad), or tilt your head upward slowly, a gesture which tells Glass to wake up. Once you’ve done that, you start issuing commands by speaking “ok glass” first, or scroll through the options using your finger along the side of the device. You can scroll items by moving your finger backwards or forward along the strip, you select by tapping, and move “back” by swiping down. Most of the big interaction is done by voice, however.
The Verge

Of course, as a PR person, it’s not that difficult to foresee the massive amounts of heated conversations these devices will spark.

Is it okay to film others without their consent? Will the public footage be used to fight crime? Is George Orwell twisting and turning in his grave right now?

Personally, I’m not all that worried about that right now.

Great technology disrupts. And I like it that way.

And by now we know a lot of how the diffusion of innovation curve works and how long time it takes for disruptive innovation to find its place in everyday life.

So what blows my mind about this? (Besides calling dibs on pretending I’m Tony Stark working on cool stuff in my garage?)

1. It’s expected to launch in 2013. 2-0-1-3! That’s THIS year. Holy cow. This is not just a conceptual prototype idea raising science fiction-like questions, this IS happening.

2. We don’t know how people will like to use this technology. When text messaging was launched, the telecom operators thought we’d be using text messaging as a substitute for leaving voice mails when no-one could answer the phone in that very moment. Not what happened.

3. A lot of people will say “I will never use that technology”, simply because they find it potentially creepy. But who cares? Tastemakers and hardcore content creators have always been the ones shaping the online media landscape in the past—and they won’t mind using this technology in a way that affects us all anyway.

4. User-generated content will be even more prevalent. Opportunities for marketing will be incredible. Heck, with pattern recognition we might even see an advent for augmented reality and those much hated QR-codes.

5. It will be much more difficult to separate the online realm with the physical universe. And this is astonishing. Especially for brands who are looking to create true experiences for their publics.

All in all, I think it’s safe to say that social media marketing isn’t going away anytime soon.

Thoughts? I would love to hear your comments.

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Behind the keyboard:

Jerry Silver is the author of Doctor Spin, a PR blog that's been around for 15+ years. Via his agency Spin Factory, Jerry is advising brands on how to adapt to a 'digital first' world. In 2016, Cision Scandinavia named him "PR Influencer of the Year". Jerry lives in Stockholm, Sweden with his wife Lisah, news anchor and television host, and their three-year-old son, Jack.

Doctor Spin’s comment policy:
“Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.”
— Eleanor Roosevelt

Reader reactions:

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Justin Germino

I think Google Glass has enormous amounts of potential at helping absorb and integrate all the data and information mined and stored on the Internet with the readers actual physical world and overlay the two. While the potential for instantly getting information about a store, product or brand as you look at it, the ability to see who calls you or add contacts to your contact list just by making eye contact with them and an eye gesture are awesome, I also wonder about the distraction factor, cell phones are already bad enough… Imagine someone wearing Google Glasses while driving a car and you will only start to see what I mean about people trying to multitask and function at tasks that require strict focus and concentration. Will Google Glasses eventually become so hard to spot from normal glasses that one from a distance can’t tell you are being distracted, will they have safety features built into cars that will disable the interactivity of glasses if proximity detecting behind the wheel of a car that is in drive exist?

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