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Agencies vie to dream up lucrative uses for Google Glasses

Art direc­tors and oth­er cre­atives in online adver­tis­ing agen­cies have been ris­ing to a new chal­lenge: think up some entic­ing new ways of using Google Glass­es. If Google CEO Lar­ry Page liked the idea, he would award the lucky inno­va­tors a pair of the eager­ly antic­i­pat­ed Glasses.

An art director’s chal­lenge 

On a more seri­ous note, the search leviathan is adamant that it doesn’t want dis­play ads on the device, an embar­go which is exer­cis­ing the minds of art direc­tors, copy­writ­ers and account man­agers far and wide. Just how can this tech­nol­o­gy be used in mar­ket­ing? One pos­si­bil­i­ty hint­ed at by Google at the recent I/O con­fer­ence was the devel­op­ment of brand­ed apps – a num­ber of media out­lets and social net­works like CNN, Elle, Face­book, Tum­blr, Twit­ter and Ever­note are already report­ed to be build­ing them.

Accord­ing to Ad Age, the chal­lenge for agen­cies was suc­cinct­ly summed up by Razor­fish CTO Ray Velez, “We need to fig­ure out how to make a dig­i­tal expe­ri­ence on Glass that’s not an ad.”

Velez believes that Glass can be used to encour­age inter­ac­tions between a brand’s com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers. But much is up in the air at present – Google itself isn’t clear about either its long-term plans for the prod­uct or its mon­e­ti­za­tion strat­e­gy. It has, though, insist­ed that all soft­ware built on the Glass plat­form (apt­ly called “Glass­ware”) should be free. Even so, this isn’t going to stop the cre­ative art direc­tors and their col­leagues from com­ing up with nifty ideas in the meantime.

How to monetize?

Nei­ther will it stop the VC com­mu­ni­ty from bet­ting that the device will gen­er­ate mon­ey from apps. As not­ed in Ad Age,  Two VC giants, Klein­er Perkins Cau­field & Byers and Andreessen Horowitz are first out of the gates, hav­ing part­nered last month with Google Ven­tures to invest in firms devel­op­ing Glassware.

Big ques­tions still remain about the product’s main­stream appeal, even though Sil­i­con Val­ley is get­ting excit­ed about it. There is as yet no pub­lic release date and there are only about 10,000 pairs on the plan­et. Already, the jok­ing has start­ed – enthu­si­asts for the device are being referred to by some as “glass­holes.”

Notwith­stand­ing all the uncer­tain­ty and the mock­ery, art direc­tors and their agency col­leagues as well as clients are busi­ly dream­ing up visions for how those Glass­es can be used in mar­ket­ing. Any ideas?

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