Google has unveiled the specifications for its new Glass product, banning advertising from the first apps developed for the new system, or charging for them.
The terms of service rolled out for the device include stipulations there are to be “no ads” and “you may not use data from your API client for advertising purposes”.
The glasses, effectively a limited wearable web-browser which have a built in 5mp camera, have been causing excitement in the tech world, with some predicting it will be the holy grail for advertising.
But James Bush, creative technologist for M&C Saatchi’s agency Make, said the move by Google to block third party ads was “not surprising at this stage”.
He added: “It will be interesting to see what people develop and how Google reacts to that. People talk about it being the Holy Grail of advertising, but I wouldn’t have thought it would be the first thing developers thought to do with it.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if at some point in the future they move to monetise Glass with ads, and it will be interesting to see when they will allow people to start charging for apps.”
The Glassware operating system will function essentially as a limited internet browser, allowing users to approve certain content from websites to be included in their timelines.
However, the stipulations may not prevent Google from integrating its own Adwords and in-app advertising on products like Google Maps, which should also be available on the devices.
HardHat Digital’s Daniel Monheit said the move to stop ads initially is shrewd by Google, blocking things which may “inconvenience” new adopters to encourage people to develop “new bahaviours”.
He added: “Google Glass, in particular is meant to feel natural and seamless – something tough to achieve with ads.
“If they can get enough people using the hardware, there'll be plenty of ways to monetise things down the track – just as they've done with search, maps and apps. The other thing to note is that ads aren't the only way to monetise a product like Google Glass.
“Just the data and insights they'll gather with this sort of product will be hugely valuable to Google and any of their partners. Beyond the data there's hardware, software and licensing which all present opportunities.
“In short, I don't think any of us need to worry about how Google will make money from an innovative product that's widely adopted – though I'm sure they appreciate our concern.”
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