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Project Glass Paving the Way for an Augmented Future

Dated: 6 Mar 2013
Posted by Conrad Wade
Category: Innovation Adoption, Technology

Imagine a world where visible human computer interfaces no longer exist and people can pose questions, unaware of whether the individual addressing them is responding with his/her own self knowledge or with that of a computer. Google’s Project Glass is taking the steps to make that a future reality.

The Google Glass, which immerses the user into an augmented reality [AR], is expected to be released by the end of the year. Google recently closed pre-orders for potential developers of the product, which is expected to have a $1,500 price tag. Will consumers be gettGoogle Glass Imageing the best bang for their buck? Google’s Sergey Brin seems to think so. Using the product over the past year, the company’s leader has realized the amount of time wasted by individuals checking mobile devices for miscellaneous tasks.  The Google Glass will essentially replace the smart phone by supplying one directly for the user’s eyes.

It appears Google Glass has conceptualized and developed an innovative product, but many speculate as to how it will be adopted. Google hopes to push the product out through a strategic partnership with Warby Parker, a rapidly growing startup company that creates trendy eye glass frames that appeal to the “hipster” community. The company will develop stylish frames that ease the technology’s mass adoption.

The concept of an augmented reality may be the most significant feature of the Google Glass. Augmented reality simply layers information into the real world with content retrieved from the internet or from other users. The technology enhances the user’s five senses. In the case of Google Glass, it is enhancing what the individual is seeing. For instance, the first down line projected onto televisions during a football game is a minor form of augmented reality. These virtual layers implanted into our lives will one day lead to a point where there is a fine line between what is real and what is computer generated.

Google Glass is not the only company taking strides in the AR industry. The technology has been gaining adoption from marketing, gaming, and educational institutions. What industry leaders find appealing about the technology is its ability to engage customers. Companies like Yelp have incorporated AR technology into a platform that allows a user to view different individuals’ commentary on bars, restaurants and retail stores based on his/her specific location. Consequently, the technology is fueled by geotagged content supplied by companies and users. With a user’s location, the technology is able to identify and display information on surrounding buildings and monuments.  The technolo2.-Augmented-Reality 2gy has found a new way for companies to interact on a personal level with their customers.

Augmented reality has been evolving at a rapid rate- so rapid in fact it may lead to a point where the technology is part of our everyday lives from the moment we wake up to when we go to bed. Further out, Curved LCD designs under development by the Centre of Microsystems Technology may allow for AR technology to be embedded on contact lenses. Although this technology is still under very early development, it may be a sign of what we can expect in the future.

Incentive Based Business Models

Dated: 27 Feb 2013
Posted by David Osgood
Category: Business Model, Healthcare, Innovation Adoption, Investment ROI, Market Leadership, New Markets, Technology


“You get what you incentivize”

                                       – Peter Diamandis, CEO and Chairmen X Prize Foundation

charlesCharles Lindbergh became world renowned for being the first man to fly across the Atlantic. Lindbergh’s trans-Atlantic flight was a brave effort to win the $25,000 Orteig Prize offered by wealthy hotel owner for the first aviator to successfully fly from Paris to New York or New York to Paris. While Lindbergh’s fight was certainly heroic, the most significant aspect of his achievement is that it changed the way people thought of flight: An industry was born.

As a 25 year old U.S. Air Mail pilot, Charles Lindbergh was not expected to win the Orteig Prize. Many famous aviators with financial backing were also competing for the prize before Lindbergh beat them. In total, teams invested $400,000 to win the $25,000 Orteig Prize.

X Prixe foundation CEO, Peter Diamandis, often cites the Orteig Prize as his inspiration for starting the organization. X Prize is best known for the Ansari X Prize, a competition to fly a three-passenger vehicle into space two times within two weeks. The competing teams invested more than $100 million to win a $10 million prize. In 2004, a team headed by Paul Allen and Burt Rutan won the prize. The winning team  went on to sign a deal to develop a spaceship for Virgin Galactic, helping to usher in a new industry of space tourism.


Incentive based competitions are not new, infact DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) has been running a cash award program for years. In 2004, DARPA issued a challenge for a fully autonomous car to traverse a 150-mile off-road route. None of the cars completed the course.

The next year the challenge was reissued and five vehicles completed the course. In 2007, the test brought the challenge to the streets, where autonomous cars had to obey street signs. The challenge helped to showcase the capabilities of autonomous vehicles. Now we are beginning to see autonomous cars on public roads, potentially launching a whole new industry.

Incentive based competitions have also been seen merging with crowd funding through sites like Kickstarter. Only the ideas or products that reach their  funding goals are eligible to receive the financial backing, meaning only the best ideas survive. Industry and government are increasingly using incentive based competitions and getting a better return for their dollar.

Over the next few months we will be watching  new incentive-based competitions that can create new industries and transform old ones. The next DARPA Grand Challenge asks for teams to create robots capable of performing search and rescue operations. The latest X Prize looks to transform healthcare, challenging teams to create a “tricorder”, that can diagnose diseases via a smartphone-like device.

Perhaps the most interesting part about these open competitions is that you never know who might win. It is impossible to predict who will be the next Charles Lindbergh.