GoogleGlass Social Acceptance – Style, Etiquette and Compelling Services



I worked on an HP Labs Market Trial in 1998 whilst based at the HP Bristol site, as I was keen to be involved in some cutting-edge innovations. The Market Trial was entitled ‘Casual Capture’ and involved carrying a Digital Camera with me and ‘capturing’ photos that I liked – such as a Sunrise at Heathrow for an early flight, a powerpoint slide displayed during a meeting or simply people I met.

In 1998 the Selfie and ubiquitous uploading of digital photos with Smartphones was not de rigueur! It has taken 16 years, including a new generation, for it to become socially acceptable, wherever you may be doing and with whom you may be spending time.


With the launch of GoogleGlass, however, there have been examples of people snatching the devices from people’s faces in bars, if they believe that they are being filmed without their knowledge. Social acceptance for the majority hasn’t yet been reached. More recently the BBC’s Rory Cellen-Jones carried out his own social and user experiment:


What can be done to aid the adoption of such new breakthrough technology? Google Glass in Contact Lenses will certainly help, although this could still be deemed clandestine! A proactive mobile ‘Social Calling-Card’ to Multiple Mobile Devices, using Bluetooth or Social Media Profile, would provide the required etiquette for those who have the receptor turned-on to such filming. On the counter-side this could also be linked to Facial Recognition and a Socially ‘Turned-off status’ for those not wanting to be filmed, with their own faces automatically blanked-out. The integrated ubiquity of the technology in stylish eyewear / clothing brands, which also provide an emotional halo, will also aid its diffusion with people becoming used to it being a part of every day life. And of course if a plethora of compelling lifestyle  ‘Pull Services’ could outweigh any social discomfort (check out Ambarish Mitra, CEO, of which offers 3D Augmented Reality technology across all devices, including GoogleGlass).!7096A144-F3DA-4623-AE7D-AF0AC340C13B


The Style and Etiquette are vital for adoption, and acceptance, by the majority..

Mobile Retail Summit 2013



I joined the Mobile Retail Summit (#mretailsummit) in central London on Wednesday 24th April, to gather insights on mobile commerce (m-commerce) from attendees including UK retailers and leisure companies, mobile technology and marketing specialists.

What struck me, as I listened to case studies of retailers moving very rapidly to deliver relevant experiences and offers for customers on their smartphones, was the lack of awareness of security on these phones. When one considers that  6.6M Britons made mobile purchases during January this year, with 42% using Android smartphones[1], that’s a large percentage of the country using their phone as a wallet. Combine this with the latest Norton research from the Norton Cybercrime Report that 46% of UK mobile users do not password protect their phone, and that’s a lot of wallets being left wide open!

Other intriguing insights came from the growing mobile retail trend of location-based marketing, where those who have opted in can receive special offers and services as they pass a nearby store. A shoe company named Meat Pack[2] managed to divert 600 customers to their stores with a targeted time-based discount offer, delivered inside a shopping mall. The ability to create an on-the-fly campaign at any time means even factors such as the weather can also now be used to target customers with offers from porridge to DIY!

If companies want to encourage more people to use mobile commerce, and take advantage of these possibilities, we are all going to need to work hard to educate and reassure the public that mobile commerce is safe. Our latest Norton Cybercrime Report also showed that only 20% of UK consumers feel safe making purchases on their mobile devices.

Your Life on Your Smartphone



A friend of mine recently changed her Smartphone Contract with a well known High Street Retailer. Before collecting her replacement phone she diligently backed everything up… except her photos, due to the size of the high-res files. The shop assistant said not to worry because he could download the photos, from her smartphone, onto a USB key (via a laptop in the store). She could then upload the images onto her own PC at home. As the download would take nearly an hour she left her smartphone in the store while she went about her business rather than wait, guarding her phone, while the download completed. How trusting of her! When the download was complete my friend’s new smartphone was returned along with a USB stick full of photos, however she wouldn’t have known if such precious data went elsewhere as well!

There is no way I would consider leaving my unlocked smartphone with someone I didn’t know while photos were downloaded. How could my friend be sure only her photos were being downloaded? How could she be sure her e-commerce credit card / mobile banking details weren’t being hacked? How did she know her phone wasn’t being cloned or infected with malware?

Smartphones have all our personal details stored on them, and are increasingly becoming mobile wallets, so I would be extremely reticent to leave it unattended, even for a minute. This experience coupled with findings from Symantec’s recent Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR) show that mobile vulnerabilities increased by 93% in 2011. Increasingly ‘time-poor people’ are using Mobile Banking or Mobile commerce on-the-move. Malware authors are creating mobile-specific versions geared to the unique smartphone usage pattern. 2011 was the first year that mobile malware presented a tangible threat.

We need to be even more vigilant as these threats are specifically targeting sensitive personal data. We don’t need to help the cybercriminals by being lax in looking after our smartphone and mobile devices. It continues to be important to ensure we password protect our devices and using mobile security software. We all need to look after our devices with the same vigilance as we look after our wallet, purse or house keys.