In keeping an eye on Glass-related news, I spotted what appears to be a burgeoning trend: Organizations using Glass not only for its potential value as a tech tool, but to garner headlines and draw attention in Glass-centered marketing ploys.
“In an effort to boost its Upper Class customer service, the British airline’s concierge staff at London Heathrow will use a range of gadgets to start the check-in process as soon as passengers arrive at the airport…The staff will use wearable tech such a Google Glass to see things like flight information, access weather forecasts and find out about events at the passenger’s destination.”
The article doesn’t mention just how Glass is expected to improve the customer experience, or if Virgin is using custom Glass apps (a.k.a. “Glassware”), but an analyst told the publication that though he sees value in the idea, it could “actually slow down the process as passenger’s [sic] will ask lots of questions because it’s so new and novel.”
Gee, that sounds like an effective use of technology.
I also wonder just how these Glass-equipped reps will provide a better experience than their counterparts with PCs or mobile devices. I own Glass, and I’m familiar with how it works. It can be rather awkward talking to the device, repeatedly looking at the tiny display and simultaneously trying to communicate with people around you. A well-designed app could mitigate this issue, but again, it’s unclear how Virgin Atlantic is using Glass.
Based on the image from CNBC above, which looks a whole lot like marketing material to me, it’s clear that this particularly pilot is not just about the potential process improvements or customer service enhancements.
I’m reminded of the semi-recent business trend of using iPads for various customer interactions, whether they’re truly helpful or not, in an effort to draw attention via the popular tablets. (“Ooooo, shiny iPads!”) In the not-too-distant future, you could see Glass show up in much the same way iPads did during past years, even though the business benefits may be less clear than the marketing value.
Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for CIO.com and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed CIO.com writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.