Google has announced that it is making Google Glass available to the general (U.S. based) public.
Up until know you had to be invited (and pay) to get your hand on the gadget from Big G.
Now anyone willing to pay $1,500 can receive the product as long as Google has it in stock.
Why is this important for your location-based business?
It signals the beginning of a (potential) mass-adoption of a product that can change our lives in the same way as the mobile phone has.
Sure, looking at it today Google Glass might seem a bit too techy to go mainstream.
If you are old enough to remember the mid 80 to mid 90s, you will recall how unpractical mobile phones were when they first hit the market.
Who would want to carry around that brick?
A lot of people as it turns out.
I think that Google Glass has the same potential once the technology improves to the point where it becomes less intrusive and you look less like a geek.
The price is another big stumbling block but, if history offers any guidance, it will come down.
I believe at present is being set artificially high by Google in order to manage demand, supply and iron out teething problems with a new technology.
Imagine the day when a sufficient number people can combine the power of Google Glass, Google Search, the Knowledge Graph and Google Maps.
Augmented reality will become reality for the masses enabling individuals to layer the digital upon the physical.
Your location-based business needs to understand the implications emanating from the ability by potential customers to find it.
How fast will this happen? Is it a certainty to happen?
Hard to tell. Google fans were hoping a faster development and deployment of Google Glass.
Even Robert Scoble, one of the most passionate fans of Google Glass, is not so bullish on its short-term prospects and has become frustrated at the (lack of) speed in its development.
Personally I will not buy it for a while.
I am not an early adopter by nature, its current configuration would make me too self-conscious and the price is currently too high.
When it becomes less intrusive and more affordable I will jump on it.
Like me lots of people. Your potential customers.
People that will be walking down the street looking in the direction of your coffee shop.
Google will now that the Google Glass wearer is looking at a coffee shop.
It might be able to show her your ad that offers a free muffin with a latte.
Or it might be Facebook knowing that her friends are nearby.
Or it might be Foursquare that knows that she checks in at a coffee shop every day at that particular time….
It might not become a mass-market product for another 5 years but all indications are that one day it will.
The age of context will then become (more of) a reality and your business needs to prepare for it!