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A Deep Review Of My First 2 Months With Google Glass

All Your Face Are Belong To Us

All Your Face Are Belong To Us

I’ve recently been adopted into the Google Glass explorer program. I debated whether or not to accept the invitation, but ultimately felt it probably would be a good idea, if for no other reason than there may be something unexpected that came from using them for a bit. Having had the chance to play with Glass a few times prior to this, the experience left me rather nonplussed. Factoring in the $1,500 price tag, and my interest was marginal. Had work not agreed to cover the expense, I probably would have passed on the invite altogether.

I’ve been using Glass off and on now for about a month and its taken me that long to crystalize some of my opinions on the kit. While I can see the potential for the Glass platform, and new apps keep coming online every day, I don’t think it’s ready for prime time.

Setting expectations.
If you’re expecting Glass to be the future of replacing your phone or tablet, you’re going to be disappointed. Based on what you may see on the ‘net, Glass is not a great device for watching video, surfing the web, reading long text, etc. I don’t believe it was designed with those kinds of usages in mind.

Going in I expected Glass to be a kind of dual threat; acting as a kind of digital personal assistant bringing much more utility and value to the kinds of things that the notification screen on your phone does, and serving specific purposes when using applications developed for the platform. Sadly, it only does one of these things well (for now).

Be prepared to look like a tool.
I don’t mean this to be snarky, but it’s a reality of the device, and one that I believe limits its potential as a mass consumer device. Glass is viewed by most as 1,500 dollars of wearable pretentiousness. I spent a bit of time wearing it in various situations and doing so tends to provoke one of two actions: hostility or annoying curiosity. When I was wearing Glass while around others (not in an agency setting mind you, but out IRL) people would either ask you not to take their picture and try to stay out of your line of sight. That, or every Tom, Dick, and Harry (strangers no less) would walk up and ask to try them on. Read More…

Deciphering Google’s Calico Cat

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 9.48.30 AM
Once again, Google is getting back into the health business. After shutting down its previously failed healthcare venture, Google Health in June of 2011, it’s tossing its preverbal hat back into the ring with the launch of the oddly named Calico.

 From the Larry Page’s G+ page: “I’m excited to announce Calico, a new company that will focus on health and well-being, in particular the challenge of aging and associated diseases.”

Here’s what we do know. Art Levinson, Chairman and former CEO of Genentech will head up Calico. Art also sits on the board of Apple and won’t be giving up any of his day jobs to run this project. That in and of itself should tell you how much emphasis Calico will carry with everyone mentioned in the press release. Beyond that, the actual details about the program are non-existent. That Google is orchestrating on an all out media blitz promoting a program that’s only oddly named vaporware at this point is a curious one indeed.

One little tidbit, buried in Larry’s G+ page is that Bill Maris, Managing Partner of Google Ventures, brought the project to life. My guess is that Calico isn’t so much a new line of business for Google, but a VC fund to invest in other start-ups.

Time magazine took the hyperbole to an extreme, labeling the venture “Google vs. Death.” If you’re hoping to read the article, which is locked behind Time’s pay wall, for some of the details of the venture, nay, ANY details about the venture, don’t waste your time. There aren’t any.

There’s a lot of work going on in the tech sector to extend life and slow down aging. Google probably sees two routes to success here. One way might be to diversify their core business by being the lead investors in the companies most likely to drive the next wave of technological innovation for healthcare in the U.S. It could be immensely profitable if it pans out. Google certainly has the cash flow to make some educated guesses, even if they never do turn a profit.

But Google is in the information business. More specifically, selling information it has about you. As the saying goes, “when something online is free, you’re not the customer, you’re the product.” Google Health was an attempt to encourage users to upload all kinds of data about their health and wellness. With that data, Google would more effectively be able identify you and your physical and emotional state of being as a means of selling advertising to brands, with that targeting coming at a premium price. The bad news for Google was that it never took off.

Whatever Google’s thinking with Calico, you have to believe the targeting ability of for tracking a users health and wellness as a means of delivering more effective ads will eventually enter the consideration set. It is their core business after all.

But that day is probably a long was off. We’ve seen Google products arrive with much pomp and circumstance only to die a quiet death. Google Wave anyone? Buzz? eBay has s ton of Nexus Q’s available on the cheap. Calico, for now, is much ado about nothing, but we’ll see what the next announcement brings us in terms of details. Hopefully it will be more than just a funny name.

Why Every Pharma Sales Rep Needs Google Glass

Glassholes As you may have seen, Google Glass started rolling out to early adopters last week. I’m not normally one to suggest that brands jump on the latest fad du jour, but to me this seems like a golden opportunity to solve a a long standing problem. Therefore I suggest that every sales rep in pharma be supplied with a pair of Google Glass. (Editors note: Is it pair? Unit? The singularity of the name suggests that the AP Style Guide may want to get working on this).

When a pharma rep walks into a sales call with a doctor they can hand them their Google Glass to wear. Then, upon a gesture or spoken command, the Glass will project a continuous and repeating presentation of fair balance during the entire length of the conversation, leaving the Rep’s iPad or other sales assets with more real estate for data, charts, and graphs. And, think of the how much more time the HCPs will spend with the Rep since they’ll be so interested to play with this fancy new toy.

It’s a marketers dream come true!

 

And yes, I am kidding. Sort of.

ICANN Released New gTLDs – Now What?

On June 13th, ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) approved a slew of new gTLDs (generic top level domains) that potentially create new web suffixes ( or, more technically, strings ) to supplement the existing stable which includes .com. .net, .org, .gov, .mil, .edu, .biz, .info and .int ( country specific gTLDs also exist ). The full list, which can be found here requires a $185,000 application fee, plus a yearly service fee of $25,000 paid directly to ICANN. Needless to say, that’s some serious
coin.

The requested gTLD strings included applications from some major pharma companies, with some applying for brand trademarks and program names. I may have missed a few combing through the list, but at last tally they included:

  • Abbot ( .abbot .abbvie )
  • BMS ( .bms )
  • Boehringer ( .boehringer )
  • Eli LIlly ( .lilly .cialis )
  • Johnson & Johnson ( .jnj .baby )
  • Merck ( .merck .emerck .merckMSD )
  • Pfizer ( .pfizer )
  • Sanofi ( .sanofi )

Also interesting to note that several of the bigger pharma companies opted to pass on securing a new gTLD string, including Roche, GSK, Novartis, AZ and Bayer. Pepsi, along with a few other mega-brands, have been very vocal about their decision to stay on the sidelines of the gTLD land rush, while Google and others have applied for multiple strings. So who’s going to come out ahead? Those who acquired the domains now, or those who waited? Given the expense involved and the lack of a road map to implementation, the answer isn’t a clear one.

Read More…