In this short webcast, I discuss the potential Google Glass has to revolutionize how people be have in the real world…and the effectiveness of marketing messages in the real world:

Google Glass & Attention Data

Google Glass & The NFL Helmet Camera

Five years ago I used the phrase “The Attention Economy” as shorthand for information overload but now I believe the convergence of several technologies and trends point to a future that includes an entirely new set of data for marketers to mine: Attention Data.

Before the advent of the Internet, we used old school methods for understanding people’s opinions and where they focused their attention such as focus groups and surveys. More recently, we’ve turned to monitoring cursor movements or eye tracking technology to create visualizations in the form of usability heatmaps in order to understand where people focused their attention on screen.

Now, with the release of Samsung’s Galaxy S4 smart phone, we’re beginning to see eye tracking technology integrated into mobile devices:

Next, consider the new and improved Kinect 2.0, which Microsoft will debut with the release of the new Xbox One later this year. Kinect 2.0 has:

  • Ability to understand three-dimensional spaces
  • Improve voice recognition and gesture tracking
  • Ability to more accurately understand posture and affect
  • Voice recognition should eventually be able to understand the variances in tone and its relationship to emotion

While Foursquare owns geo-location data, it is only an indication of the fact that someone has been somewhere and they collect no real behavioral data beyond that short of the limited things users can do with the service, such as leaving a comment or tip or uploading a photo.

Now, keeping all these technological developments and trends in mind, consider the implications of Google Glass. Assuming eventual mass adoption of the product, Google may be creating a whole new set of data that has never existed before: Attention Data. Google will be able to couple all the assets it already has at its disposal:

  • Google Maps is not just an online mapping service.
  • Google has data on how people are using Google Maps itself, so they know how often people want to go from point A to point B.
  • In addition to recording imagry for Street View, Google vans also have character recognition, so they’ve recorded text in the real world.
  • The Google Goggles app is helping Google build an algorithm for recognizing images in the world.
  • Add to that all the personal information Google knows about you from Gmail, from the searches you perform and your visits to websites, the videos you watch, the content you upload, the traffic to your own website through Google Analytics, your social networks, and your movement through the week real world via the GPS signal on your phone.

Examples Of Google Glass Attention Data

  • Urban planning data on pedestrian traffic flow.
  • Advertising: Real world analytics for print, outdoor or television advertising.
    • Can track how often and for how long and on what parts people pay attention to advertising in the real world.
  • Retail application: In-store traffic flow, shelf and product focus coupled with product scans.
  • Design: Record how people actually use products in the real world.
  • Television programming: Imagine a Shazam app that recognizes television programming and records when attention is focused on the show and when attention is focused elsewhere;
    • Coupled with when people search for additional information about what they’re watching.
  • Public Safety: Track how crowds move en masse in relation to a dramatic event such as the Boston Marathon bombing,
    • Or how people behave in reaction to a mass shooting,
    • Or how quickly and in what fashion people react to emergency broadcast messages such as tornado alerts.
  • Stadium design: How people use in-stadium signs; when people focus away from the on-field action and where their attention turns.
  • Training: Understand where a quarterback looks as he surveys the field for how the defense is reacting and how long it takes him to find the open receiver; how individual receivers run their routes; how defenses react.
  • Real World Gaming: Augmented reality gaming in the real world.

Will Google provide attention data analytics for your location or your events?