Last week, Google held the 2015 version of its annual I/O conference in San Francisco. While the conference was filled with unveilings and announcements, particular bits of information emerged that piqued the interest of the advertising and marketing communities.
The IoT is closer and closer
We’ve been hearing for years now about the impending Internet of Things, where all of our devices are connected to the internet. We’re getting closer to that becoming a reality, but one of the biggest issues towards full adoption has been an operating system that all the devices can run through. Connected devices in silos do no good, but devices connected to the internet and each other when the truly “smart” home (or eventually, world) will become the norm.
Google is helping push this to reality, and the announcement of the “Brillo” IoT operating system, dropping for developers in Q3, is a big step forward. In addition, “Weave”, which will follow in Q4, will be the missing link, the communication system that will allow connected devices to interact. Brands should be thinking about how their products or services can fit into the fully-connected world. Now’s the time for going on some dates with potential partners who may be a potential perfect fit, because waiting too long means that you might be the one left at the altar.
Say goodbye to wallets
If you’re a leather manufacturer, you might want to be getting into the mobile-phone cover game if you haven’t already. Apple Pay is a reality, Venmo has all but eliminated the need for waiters and waitresses to split a bill on six different credit cards at once, and Google and Android are now back in the mobile payments game. Much like Google Glass, Google was at the forefront of mobile payment technology, albeit with the largely-failed Google Wallet.
It’s yet to be seen how much of a difference Pay will be from Wallet, but Google seems like it is taking payments seriously, coupled with Apple Pay, apps like Spring, and the proliferation of in-app purchases and “buy now” buttons on social media, eCommerce appears to becoming more seamless. Retail brands have to be aware of this and be ready to do their part in making shopping and paying on a mobile device as routine as it used to be to pulling out your wallet at the checkout counter.
The Virtual Reality Reality
It’s been a year since Google unveiled Google Cardboard, the way for everyday folks to access Virtual and Augmented Reality through their mobile phones and associated apps. At this year’s conference, Google doubled down on Cardboard and announced a bigger version that will be able to fit the iPhone 6. And the company unveiled the new Cardboard app on iOS.
More low-cost AR/VR will mean more people being able to access new enhanced video experiences, so there’s a clear opportunity for brands to get in there and provide content. And lest you think that VR is something that only powerful brands can create, Google raises you Jump, the 16 Go-Pro camera rig that will allow people to create VR video. Google will let YouTube content creators get the first crack at it, but Jump is expected to be available to the public at some point. If brands don’t master VR video first, there will be plenty of folks trying to do just that in the very near future.