Google’s smart specs – Glass – are now freely available to purchase in the UK for £1000, including frames – although not the 13 new Diane Von Furstenberg Frames or Shades for Google Glass also launched this week (these cost $225/$120 – US Glass store, and net-a-porter).
So, whilst these are pre-launch ‘open-beta’ ‘Explorer’ edition of Glass (Google says full public launch will be later this year), now could be the time for market researchers and innovation agencies to start testing the real-world research potential of Glass as a naturalistic research tool.
The real opportunity of course will be to develop research apps for the Glass app store, since right now there’s nothing useful in the 100 app store (a decent eye-tracking app for Glass is screaming to be developed). But without developing your own research app, effectively all you have today is a non-disruptive line-of-sight video recorder that supports notifications and basic communication. That said, here are the four areas we think Glass can add value now…
- Glass makes “hands free research” easier – recording and interacting whilst behaving naturally and without being interrupted/disrupted – great for usability and shopper research. Record in-situ, then review debrief with researcher
- Glass allows for naturalistic “first-person perspective research” providing a real POV/line-of sight recording for naturalistic ethnographic/participant observation research
- Glass has the potential make research more emotionally intense and empathetic, through a first person perspective we ‘feel’ what the participant feels
- Glass helps ‘interactive research’ become more appealing, intuitive and fun, with live interaction, instructions and ‘gamification’ through research ‘missions’ – think ARG (alternative -reality gaming) for research
- Glass is a useful non-disruptive research aid for researchers – for interview recording, note taking, observer-commenting/instructions, script reading, questionnaire reading