Wearable banking: 'Ok Glass'

Google can compete with Apple after all. This is hard for me to admit, being the Apple fanatic that I am. Google Glass is launched.

Google can compete with Apple after all

This is hard for me to admit, being the Apple fanatic that I am. As for any device planned to be launched to the market, there are predictions, there are opinions and there are surveys of people that have not as much as even held the device in their hands, or in Glass’s case, worn it, writes Barbara Seljak

The Glass Explorer

I was lucky to tag on to one of the ‘Explorers’ luck and actually got my hands and eyes on a pair. The Glass Explorer program gives U.S. residents the opportunity to qualify for a purchase but not without first leaving Google with more insight into reasons for customers’ interest which helps the company determine whether you are eligible to purchase a pair.

White box, simple font, spelling a very common word for something that we drink out of, rather than a high tech computer. Simplicity and sophistication, yes, this just might rival Apple.

An optic wonder

I was more excited about opening this box than any others in the past. Powering it up, ‘Ok Glass’ command, very simple but powerful immediately takes me to the desired menu, creating a sense of an optical illusion you get used to very quickly. All of a sudden I found myself trying to do too many things at the same time. Tilting my head was one thing but to actually take a photo by blinking my eye, now that was a whole different ball game. Sorry folks, the fingerprint scanner is so yesterday!

A virtual world

Once you enter this virtual reality, the endless possibilities can be overwhelming. If I will be able to walk into a shop and see what products are on offer from the corner of my eye, along with my bank balance and make an instant decision on whether I want to buy the product or not, I cannot wait for this day to come. I am intrigued by having an option to practice my dancing while reviewing the steps on YouTube, learn Portuguese while folding my clothes, or stretch for a run while looking for the best Brazilian restaurant around.

Emotional attachment

Glass gives you a sense of being a part of something bigger, the excitement of the undiscovered — and that is alluring. There are those that have not heard of Glass, and as I proudly displayed a pair on my social media, many were puzzled about this Star trek looking, one-eyed device on my face. Questions that followed were mainly around its functionality, until one friend made me stop in my tracks by asking: ‘How does it feel, B?’ I found myself thinking in ways you would only do about a person and not a piece of technology – but that is just it – it makes you feel!

Of course, some may never feel the way I do about this high tech device, in fact, some of you may be rolling your eyes now, probably siding with the recent poll of people who claim they would not be comfortable wearing Glass in public or when speaking to someone. But having the opportunity to actually wear a pair might change your mind.

Glass and digital banking

Many speculate whether Glass will take off, and rightly so, but as with any device entering the market for the first time, there are factors people will consider before buying. Some will get hung up on price (tipped to be around $600 or £365), some on privacy and security issues, especially while transacting on the go, but Glass will definitely open a whole new dimension of banking.

In the past few years, the financial services industry has seen a huge adoption of banking apps for smartphones and tablets, with a few banks now launching an app for Glass. This will bring a new set of challenges, as these providers will need to ensure a seamless customer journey from computer, to smart phone, smartwatch, smart TV and now Glass.

Our eyes are the future

But with all this aside, I hope that in the near future, your eye and voice (apart from money!) will be everything you will need to make a purchase! No wallets, no cards and no paper money. That means one less thing to carry around – very convenient – especially for us ladies.