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PCBB Banc Investment Daily December 12, 2013
Banc Investment Daily
December 12, 2013

Google Glass - Creepy, Cool or Both

We've all seen pictures of the prototypes of Google Glass, the computer you wear like a pair of glasses with a viewing screen in the upper right of your field of vision. The Terminator movies immediately come to mind, that view from inside Arnold Schwarzenegger's head with diagrams and numerical values calculating the likelihood of various scenarios. Google Glass won't quite be doing that--but the idea is that this small computer, with a screen that will not obstruct your vision, can help busy people navigate their way through voice commands and taps without the bother of using their smart phones. Although the screen won't obstruct your vision, we are unsure if it will hinder the ability to focus on the information in front of you. Already people are glued to their smartphones and whether they are driving and texting or walking and texting, most folks seem one step away from running into a wall.
Other uses for Google Glass include: flight departure information (please increase your running speed by 34% or miss your next flight...), taking photographs or recording videos. This last part is where Google Glass gets a little creepy when you consider the videotaping of casual conversations and photographs being taken when people are unaware. Capable cameras are already everywhere, in phones, tablets etc. It costs roughly $10 to add a camera to a phone, so almost every manufacturer does it. One could argue that social media sites like Facebook and Twitter would never have taken off as they have if everyone wasn't carrying a camera. The idea that the glasses of someone nearby are recording or photographing raises a question of invasion of privacy and lawsuits are sure to follow.
Video recordings could also protect professionals who take on legal liabilities like repairmen, couriers or anyone doing business based on word of mouth agreement. Many organizations already record telephone calls, especially for transactional business and police in many places record traffic stops on videotape. Most bank customer service reps have certain customer interactions that they wish they had recorded. It's probably not the best way to break up with a partner, but has its uses in business.
There is already a banking app designed for Google Glass and this is for the Spanish bank Banco Sabadell, headquartered near Barcelona. We went to the bank's site for further information, but the search engine took us to business insurance plans that cover broken glass--so it appears more work needs to be done updating their information about Google Glass. Meanwhile, a company called Droiders developed a full-featured app in a pilot program and more are in the works including a mobile deposit app. The current app shows the nearest ATM, current account balances and supports 24/7 video conferencing. The head of innovation at Banco Sabadell expects Google Glass is representative of the next evolution of the internet. Users will expect to interact with firms through different devices and as intuitively as possible. A bank in the Ukraine is testing a Google Glass app as well, and it will take a picture of a bill and pay it using a voice command (which is pretty nifty if you ask us). The companies that offer leading edge technology will be in demand by like-minded customers.
Future releases of Google Glass will reportedly feature iris-secure identification. Link this with an ATM machine that no longer requires a PIN and life gets very convenient. It may seem a bit like science fiction, but the public release of Google Glass in 2014 is coming up quickly, and we will be watching adoption and usage with interest as we monitor how it is being used by banks and bank customers into the future.