PHOTOS: TPN Chicago Hosts First Google Glass MeetUp

TPN Chicago’s Manolo Almagro and Brad Kleinman hosted a Google Glass MeetUp on Tuesday, Aug. 20, giving Glass enthusiasts a chance to discuss the technology, and for many, use Glass for the first time.  Attendees came from various backgrounds including healthcare, fitness, marketing, retail, technology and media, creating lively discussion about the implications of wearable technology across disciplines.

Check out the gallery below for photos of the event, and for more information, join the Google Glass Explorers of Chicago MeetUp group here.

6 Reasons Google Glass will be a Shopper’s Best Friend

Several months ago, I was extremely excited to learn that I would be among the first 10,000 people to explore Google’s wearable technology, Google Glass.  Since I joined the program, I have ‘kept my ear to the ground’ by reading a number of reviews of the gadget, both positive and negative.

Personally, I am a big fan of the technology. I may not wear it in the shower like social media guru Robert Scoble, but I am enamored by Glass and I continue to be wowed (especially when Google releases its monthly updates!).

Although Glass is not yet available to the market, for the limited number of shoppers lucky enough to have one, they can already take advantage of its features while in-store.  We’ve listed six of the most useful features that will likely drive wearable technology like Glass into the mainstream spotlight for shopping:

1.    Picture and video reminders of products you’re interested in 

Shopping is a visual experience – whether you’re on the street and you walk by an outfit you like, or in a store deciding between which sofa you like more. When you get the urge, you’ll take out your smartphone, unlock it, open your camera, and snap a picture to help you remember what you were shopping for (if you didn’t buy it that day).  With Glass, just look at the item and say ‘OK glass take a picture’.

2.    Live feedback from friends and family 

Thanks to social media, consumers place more emphasis than ever on the opinions of friends, relatives, followers and even complete strangers.  Glass’ technology allows shoppers to take real-time photos and send directly to friends or share with followers for instant opinions, assisting in shopping decisions.

 3.    Product searching

Whether at home or in-store, mobile searches on smartphones and tablets have already taken over PC searches.  Wearable tech, like Glass, will likely continue to expand the evolution of how we use mobile and stationary devices.

4.    Product scanning and price comparisons

Shoppers are already engaging in “showrooming” practices with their smartphones by searching for lower priced products online while in-store.  How will Glass change this habit?  By making it easier.  Shoppers will no longer have to pull out their phone to scan a barcode or search online – they simply have to look at the barcode to pull up online results.

 5.    Shopping lists

Left your shopping list at home?  We’ve all been there.  And although there is an array of shopping list smartphone apps, it can be difficult to balance a shopping basket and a smartphone while picking up, selecting and checking items off a list.  Again, Glass allows for hands-free list use in-store, but it also makes shopping lists readily available throughout the day so you’ll never forget to add an item to your list again.

6.    Smarter retailers

When retailers begin to arm their sales associates with wearable technology like Glass, the impact will be great.  Information accessible to the associates without the need to take out a phone or tablet allows for more flexibility and more expedient service.

***

There is no doubt that Google has a lot of work to do.  The current version of Glass will benefit from better battery power, better audio, more voice commands, and of course, more apps.  But it’s important to keep in mind that Google (and other competitors that will soon hit the market) has barely crossed the starting line for what will surely be a long run of wearable technologies to aid shoppers and retailers.

What do you think?  What are some shopper apps or functions that you could see coming about in the future? Post in the comments below!

Pew Research Center: 72% of Online Adults Use Social Networks

A new study by the Pew Research Center found that 72% of online adults use social networking sites.  For users 65 or older, there has been a 30% increase in social media use from four years ago.  And while younger online adults ages 18-29 still lead the way for social networking use, older users are continuously and rapidly increasing their presence.

What does this mean for brands?  Digital mediums are becoming omnipresent in the lives of all consumers.  Millennials and moms are no longer the only consumers to consider targeting through digital and social mediums.

Feature photo credit: www.arikhanson.con

What Does a Yawn Get You These Days?

A cup of coffee. Yes, a yawn can “buy” you a cup of coffee. A campaign from Dutch coffee company Douwe Egberts uses a gussied-up coffee vending machine with facial recognition software to dole out free cups of coffee to weary airport travelers in need of a pick-me-up, all for the cost of a yawn. Called “Bye Bye Red Eye,” the campaign served coffee to more than 210 airport passengers.

I love this. It seems like a simple match of technology and creativity put to use in a way that’s a perfect fit. People who are tired often drink coffee. People who are tired often yawn. Bam! An engaging platform is born to get people talking about their coffee.

Facial recognition, or recognition technology in general, as currency mixed with a vending machine with a seems like it could apply to a variety of brands. Smile for a Hershey’s bar or a Pepsi. Roll or smack your lips for a Chapstick. Sneeze for a box of Kleenex. Granted, this would be a promotional spin on these items as brands can’t pay the bills with smiles or kisses, but it would be fun nonetheless.

Watch the video without yawning. I dare you.

Image Credits: YouTube, DouweEgbertsSA, Getty

Amazon Pins Its Hopes On New Style Wishlist

Amazon looks to be taking on Pinterest in a head-on match-up that will let consumers set up and buy directly from their wishlists:

Amazon has quietly launched its own direct challenger to Pinterest with the debut of a feature called “Amazon Collections.” It’s a more attractive, image-heavy website where consumers can save, share and discover new products by browsing those others have saved. Like Pinterest, users create separate lists, called Collections, such as “Want List” or “Fashion,” for example, and they can find and follow other users who share their same interests through the service.

The company had been testing this feature beginning with a number of bloggers ahead of a larger, public debut, and some of those with early access have already detailed their experiences using the site to put together outfits, or other initial impressions. Some were even paid to be advisors. The earliest references we’re seeing from beta testers writing about the service were posted in late April.

This looks to be just the tip of the iceberg of a possible strategy by Amazon to create “closed loop” social media as it relates to retail, handily cutting out competition from the big box stores that they cannot control on such platforms as Pinterest or Facebook.

-via TechCrunch