Twelve percent — or 21.6 million — US online consumers are willing to a wear a sensor device as eyeglasses (e.g., Google Glass), assuming it were from a trusted brand, offering a service that piqued interest, according to new Forrester data based on an April survey of more than 4,600 US adults. Forrester Analyst Sarah Rotman Epps dubs these consumers “Glass Gravitators” in her new research, which explores the breakdown of this wearable-savvy consumer segment as well as the implications of Google Glass for marketers. She writes, “We have no doubt that in time, Glass will be the next iPhone . . . [it] will be the next great platform for engaging consumers and workers — and it will radically change the way marketers engage customers.”
Half of Glass Gravitators are in Gen Z or Gen Y, and they are most interested in Glass for utility-based apps, such as navigation, taking pictures, and seeing information about places and products, compared with just 31% who are interested in a heads-up display for the purpose of gaming. For marketers, Glass offers an unprecedented engagement opportunity but will require a new way of thinking due to the restrictions on tracking or sharing users’ data without their permission.
According to Epps, marketers should already be experimenting with Glass or else risk getting left behind by their more adventurous competitors. She imagines a new world of marketing where “permission” is the new cookie; activities like being in a certain location will cue targeting, rather than cookie-based navigational history, which is quickly becoming a thing of the past. But just because marketers will be shut out of tracking users on Glass, this doesn’t mean Google won’t be doing so. She concludes, “We expect Google to wield even more power over brands in the future, thanks in part to the insight it collects on users through Glass.”