Google Glass may seem like expensive eyewear from the future to most of us, but Google’s latest technical wonder is quickly gaining ground. No longer the stuff of science fiction, Glass allows users to implement technology freely, almost as an extension of oneself.
In building Glass, Google aimed to free data from desktop computers, and even from mobile devices like tablets and smartphones, by placing it right in front of the eyes. Glass is basically a camera, display, touchpad, battery, and microphone built into spectacle frames so that users can place a display in the upper part of the user vision (however, this arrangement is not optimal), film, take photos, and translate — all on-the-go and hands-free.
Now, Google is taking its futuristic technology one step further by exploring the possibilities of eye tracking technology. And – in classic Google fashion – the company is monetizing its efforts right from the start.
The company proposes to extend pay per click (PPC) models to Glass so that advertisers can track any ads your eyes come across while wearing the device. In other words, Google might create a “pay per gaze” (PPG) mechanism to equip Glass to monetize your eye movements.
Think about it – as you make your way through your morning commute, out to lunch, then back home again, you encounter numerous ads you may not even remember. In fact, the number of ads we are exposed to each day numbers in the thousands. If you happen to be wearing Google Glass while viewing those ads, then Google wants to charge someone for that view.
First, the tracker would run objects you are looking at by a server to identify “images within the received scene” to see whether anything you’re viewing qualifies as an advertisement. If an ad is registered for PPG billing, then advertisers are charged based upon whether you actually viewed the ad, judged by how long you gaze at it. The monetization process is similar to that of online advertising, but the model can work offline as well. Even conventional offline advertising, such as billboards, magazines, newspapers, and subway signs, are all game for the PPG model.
Of course, privacy and patent issues abound, but it looks like Google Glass is heading in the eye tracking direction. What do you think about this way of leveraging eye tracking technology? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.