Stephen Shankland writes about how people might be using Google in the future and brings up a lot of great questions. Questions about how all of this is funded in the future, the trust problem with Google, and most importantly — to me — the privacy implications of it all.
One incredibly interesting quip that Shankland makes is about Google Glass and what ads a person sees. The Glass project doesn’t look like a cash cow product to me, but what if the intended benefit to Google is that now they see exactly what you see.
Take the grocery store for example. The loyalty card programs were developed as a research tool — telling stores what items a person buys together in different locations. Things like: when people buy tortilla chips, they also buy salsa. The more data like this that stores get, the better they can optimize their shopping aisles so that what you need is grouped together — in such a way that you end up spending more than you normally would. What if instead of knowing buy looking at an individuals purchases, stores started knowing by virtually ‘seeing’ how customers browse a store. That is exactly the kind of data that most stores would kill to have.
Same too with website owners looking to optimize content. I can see where you mouse is if I install the right software, but I cannot see where your eye is. Google Glass could change that, and as Shankland says — this both excites and terrorizes me.