There has a lot that has already been said about Google Glass following its release to a small group of ‘explorers’ earlier this year, but what (if any) effect will it have on the sales and business environment?
The device in its current state is aimed at the consumer market, however in terms of business applications, CRM is seen as the forefront of the possibilities. With technology such as Google Glass making information more readily available, there is a balancing act for salespeople to ensure they do not trade-off a deep personal relationship for the ability to appear more informed.
Some of the possible advantages of applying Google Glass to a sales environment are:
- Pull up client information and past correspondence while speaking with a prospect.
- Take or add to client notes during a meeting. However, in a one-to-one sales meetings and discussions it is likely that people will remove the glasses for a more personal interaction.
- Facial Recognition to provide a personalised identification when confronted with large numbers of individuals. However, Google has recently said they will disallow such technology citing privacy concerns.
- Live video feed / discussions with developers or tech support when on a sales or support call could be useful. They can see what you see, bringing a whole new dimension to “screen-share”.
Consumers still buy based on emotion and so it remains important not to dilute the interactions with your customers by allowing technology to draw focus. So while you may like to have a contacts information displayed on your glass while talking to a prospect on the phone, it would be impersonal to do this while speaking face-to-face. Similarly, while its facial recognition function may prove useful pick out the people in a conference room worth talking to, you’re still likely to have to go it alone (without Glass) when it comes to actually having a discussion. Of course both of these uses could be achieved with other (unwearable) technology already available, perhaps this is the reasons why we have not heard of any specific CRM applications being developed for glass yet.
So when would you actually use Google Glass? You might think it could be useful as heads-up display while driving and talking to prospects or clients though your hands free mobile. Well the UK Department of Transport already has a different view, planning to ban its use while driving before it has even been released.
In terms of marketing, microblogging through twitter is likely to be a suitable medium given the small screen and requirement for concise information and there is already applications created for glass to display this.
So it seems that so far Google Glass will likely remain a consumer toy rather than a business and sales tool, at least for now. However with a large amount of applications already produced by creative develops there is sure to be business use for it and other wearable technology in the coming months and years.
The bigger question is perhaps how mature is this technology. Are we at the iPad, or Newton stage of development?
Image CC BY-SA 2.0 by Max Braun