Published 31 August 2013
No, Google isn’t bringing out a new range to challenge Riedel and Zwiesel; it’s their latest gadget that is getting the tech world in a frenzy.
I was lucky enough to be invited to play with one the other day, and it got me thinking: how might the wine industry use this tech?
The concept is that you have a pair of glasses (with or without lenses, it doesn’t matter), and in your peripheral vision is a small transparent screen. Although the gadget has a few in-built features (e.g. you can take a photo that is stored on Glass), the majority of functions come from having it linked to your android device. This allows you to receive an unlimited variety of information and features, from alerts to reading information from QR codes.
As well as allowing you to perform most functions that your smartphone permits, Google Glass really comes into its element when it surpasses this. “Most [Google Glass] apps are just replicating functions that smartphones already have”, said one leading Google Glass developer, “but the killer apps are where people are taking advantage the things you can’t do with a smartphone in addition to features such as voice-recognition. Controlling it hands-free is massive.”
So, here’s an example use: you are in a supermarket wine section. You want to choose a wine to go with your evening meal. You ask Glass for some help. You can choose to see your past purchases and ratings/notes, or recommendations from someone else. You ask for your highest scored red wine: it returns details of the wine, along with a label image. As you scan the shelves, Glass flashes the label in your peripheral vision when it finds a match. Maybe the app could even draw in real-time data from the supermarket to know which wines are in stock.
Or, when you’re tasting a wine, you could look up the bottle to get tasting notes, just by getting Glass’s camera to recognise the label. Label-recognition is one area that the wine world is progressing with quite well, so this is undoubtedly going to be an initial area of interest when Glass takes off.
And it will take off. There hasn’t been as much interest in a product since Apple brought out the first iPhone. This first version of Glass definitely has areas it needs to improve upon until it will get traction in the market: mainly battery life and memory. Once it sorts those out, who knows where we will go?