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Smart glasses are on the way

January 30, 2014

Retailers who want to stay ahead of the trends of the future should start considering the next channel through which they'll be able to communicate with their consumers: digital "smart" glasses.

Retailers who want to stay ahead of the trends of the future should start considering the next channel through which they’ll be able to communicate with their consumers: digital “smart” glasses.

Recently, The Korea Times reported that Samsung and Sony are currently developing smart glasses hardware and software that will aim to match the specifications of the already announced Google Glass. Market analysts and company officials tell the news outlet that 2014 will likely see the release of a number of these products, creating new business opportunities for many sectors. Retailers may find themselves aiming to optimize their marketing strategies for the sake of smart glasses the way they already have with smartphones.

“The reason is simple,” an official at Samsung Electronics told The Korea Times. “The market potential for smart glass is huge. It will be used in trucks, cars and has a greater impact on related industries such as glass- and coatings-makers.”

An official for Google also spoke to the news outlet, noting that the highly anticipated Google Glass hardware will be released to the public sometime in the second half of 2014. 

“It will be interesting to see which companies get better stakes in the race for smart glasses,” the Google official told The Korea Times. “Players definitely want to enjoy a ‘first-mover’ advantage in this new and highly lucrative market.”

Previously, The Wall Street Journal had reported that Samsung had filed patents for devices that would be similar in design to Google Glass. The news outlet reported that the Samsung device would be linked to a smartphone and would display alerts for information that ran on the connected phone. This is why retailers – many of whom are already working diligently to advance the way they engage with consumers via smartphones – may find themselves interested in the prospects of smart glasses technology. 

“The new smart glass to be introduced by Samsung is a new concept of wearable device that can lead to an exciting culture of communication,” the Samsung official explained to The Korea Times. “The smart glass will present our aim to lead the new market with proven capability. Wearable devices can’t generate profits immediately. Steady releases of devices are showing our firm commitment as a leader in new markets.”

Smart glasses may not have an effect on the retail landscape for years. Yet it’s sure that some day, marketers will have to consider them on a par with other mobile devices. 

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