Pay Per Gaze

July 25th, 2016

We live in a world that can be absolutely saturated with advertising. For many it’s gotten to the point where we forget how many advertisements we glance at, watch, hear and scroll by over the course of the average day. There are all sorts of views on whether this is good or bad, but ultimately it’s the nature of modern life. Every company wants any edge they can get over their competition. With Google Glass coming out soon there are big questions about how advertising might become integrated with the device. Recently we’ve been given a hint, as Google has patented a technology referred to as “pay per gaze.”

If you are involved in internet marketing you probably know about pay per click and pay per impression. It’s all about how ad pricing and effectiveness is determined. It makes sense to measure computer ads by how many view them or click on them, but what about ads on Google glass? The new technology that integrates the internet and a variety of apps with a screen built into glasses presents unique opportunities and challenges.

The idea is that Google Glass will be able to track eye movement to determine where the eyes are looking at and how long they look at any one part of the screen. This way advertisers who buy ads that are shown on glass will be able to know just how long users are looking at their ads. This isn’t completely new technology, many in the advertising field have been doing similar tests for a while, but this would take the practice to another level. There’s even potential for Google to track emotional reactions. You can see why this is very exciting to advertisers but controversial among the public at large.

As you might imagine the reaction to this patent hasn’t been overwhelmingly positive. Despite how widespread advertising is, or maybe because of that fact, many people don’t want to deal with any more. Especially when the potential dangers are considered. Many are already skeptical about how people will be able to use Google Glass without becoming too distracted to function. Regular apps and web browsing could cause enough damage. What happens when you add unwanted ads into the mix? Only time will tell when it comes to this sort of new technology. Google seems confident that it can navigate the obstacles it’s facing.

It’s important to remember that this technology hasn’t even officially been announced by Google. We know that they’ve patented it and it fits logically into Google’s existing strategies but there are still more questions than answers at this point. Only time will tell if we’ll even see this technology implemented with Google Glass. What is important to remember is that marketing is evolving alongside technology, as it must. If you aren’t willing to utilize an emergent technology to get your product out in front of people then you can count on your competitors to step up to the challenge instead.

Advertisements are an essential part of Google’s business strategy. It’s the reason that so many of their tools are available for free. Every year their AdWords program brings in billions of dollars of revenue. It’s pretty much a given that Google Glass users will have to deal with ads. We already trust Google with vast amounts of our information, the only question is when people will say that enough is enough.