We are about 18 to 24 months away from an augmented reality. Google’s Project Glass has gotten a ton of hype recently and for good reason. Soon enough we will not be stumbling around like zombies texting with our heads down, stepping into busy streets, slamming into pedestrians and possibly running into bears. In two years, we’ll all be looking at each others faces, interacting in an augmented world. Will this be good or bad for us?

Google Glass

We will become more social 

Good: Commonalities will be more out in the open.  Say you’re sitting in a restaurant and people sit down next to you. Today, without physically walking up to them and starting an old fashioned conversation, there’s no way to actually find out information about them. Yes, there are some mobile apps that help in this process but I haven’t found a good one yet. In 2 years, you’ll easily look at them with your augmented reality glasses, see who you’re mutually connected to as well as any sort of common ground.

Bad: Is becoming more social really bad? I don’t think so. However, the people that are anti-augmented reality may encounter some discrimination.

Google will dominate our lives even more

Good: Although I’ve read of several Google Glass competitors, none have the backing, technology, patents or infrastructure that Google has. Google will be able to integrate even more seamlessly into our daily lives using the ever increasing amount of data streaming in.  It will make things easier to organize, find, connect to and to learn.

Bad: Google Instant already tries to predict our searches. Will the futuristic version of this literally control our lives? Will the Google affect change the way larger subsections of our population act? We are already able to predict flu outbreaks by using big data. I’m positive that when we’re all wearing Google Glass, something will surface that Google has formed the way we react to certain situations. Big Brother may turn out to be a 24 year old developer in Cupertino.

Monetization of the Augmented Reality

Good: Creation of new industries, new innovations, competitive landscapes that push companies to create new things are all positives that will come from trying to monetize augmented reality. The integration of context in ads will be a must or the click through’s or “interact through’s” will be super low. The local business owner will truly get a lot out of this since he or she will now be able to do extreme local targeted advertising.

Bad: Google Adwords made Google over 40 billion dollars in 2012. Taking an Adword ad and implementing it into an augmented reality isn’t the same. My concern is that Google will risk the user experience in order to make sure they recoup the money they’re losing from people searching through augmented reality and not a laptop.

How do you think Google Glass or other augmented reality devices will change our lives for the good or bad?