Searching for Google’s future (Part 2) - Playing a long game & Mobile money

4/3/2012 5:39:18 PM
Searching for Google’s future (Part 2)

Nudge, nudge

Android is a classic Google play: if the world isn’t moving quickly enough in Google’s direction, Google will give the world a nudge. The Chrome web browser came from a similar perspective: Google felt that browser manufacturers could do a better job of supporting web applications and HTML5, so it built a browser to spur them into action. Chrome OS is designed to encourage adoption of cloud computing, where Google is a significant player, and the new Google Wallet, which uses near field communication (NFC) technoIogy to deliver wireless mobile payments in the US, is an attempt by Google to kick-start a market from which it hopes to make a lot of money.

Description: From left: Larry Page, Eric Schmidt, and Sergey Brin

From left: Larry Page, Eric Schmidt, and Sergey Brin

As Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt told delegates at this year’s Mobile World Congress, payments could be an enormous opportunity for the firm. “I’m walking down the street and I need pants. My phone has an NFC chip. It knows where I am. It tells me about two stores, one to the left with a 20 per cent discount and one to the right with a 30 per cent discount. It’s programmed to know that I’m a cheapskate, so it points me to the right and the store knows what pants [trousers] I want. You don’t think this is going to work? Trust me, this is consumerism.” It’s also something that ties in nicely with another Google product, Google Offers, which is being beefed up with the acquisition of Groupon-style special offers websites. At the time of writing, Google had just acquired the German deals site Daily Deal.

Google isn’t the only firm interested in smartphone-assisted shopping. As Windsor Holden recalls, “this is pretty much the line that Paul Jacobs was spinning at the recent Qualcomm EMEA event. The phrase he used was the handset as a ‘digital sixth sense’ - that the handset will essentially be facilitating the flow of contextualised, localised information.”

Could this really work? “Considering Google’s presence across the value chain, it is — in theory at least — a credible scenario, Holden says. “In terms of actually effecting that scenario, the primary harriers are (a) ensuring that the various retailers are on hoard and therefore ready to ping trouser-related information, and (b) overcoming any residual customer concerns about intrusion and payment.”

Playing a long game

Description: Google Checkout

Rather than insist everyone uses its own Google Checkout payment processing service, Google is happy to team up with existing payment systems. So while it doesn’t get a percentage of every transaction, it gets something that may be even more valuable: data.

With Google Wallet, Google gets to know not just what you’re interested in, hut what you actually spend money on. While Google Wallet doesn’t get your actual transaction details, it still knows where you were and how much you spent. By combining that data with deals, social networking, geolocation, Nectar-style loyalty programmes and specialised services like the Zagat restaurant guides, which Google acquired in September, Google has a very powerful platform for location -based, personalised advertising.

The Google+ plus-one icon already appears on display adverts so you can share them with the people in your Google+ circles, and the same feature is coming to AdSense for mobile devices too. But Google+ is about more than just letting your contacts know you like the odd banner ad. It’s also about social TV, which many pundits predict could he the next big thing in streaming media, and, inevitably, it’s about advertising. If you’ve ever joined in live twitter conversations during football matches, Question Time or Britain’s Got Talent, you’ll know how much fun simultaneous viewing and posting with your friends can be. With Google+ Hangouts, Google is hoping to deliver something even better.

Hangouts are one of the core Google+ features, delivering group video chat both on desktop PCs and on Android devices. The new Hangouts API, which was added in September, makes it possible for developers to create social TV applications that pith and share content from sites like YouTube and Vimeo with groups of people. If you pause the video, it pauses for everyone; if you rewind it or skip to a different clip, then everyone else’s video rewinds or moves to the next clip. If Hangouts prove popular, it will mean yet more data for Google to crunch and even more opportunities to deliver targeted advertising.

Mobile money

As Eric Schmidt wrote in the Harvard Business Review earlier this year, Google’s strategy is uall about mobile”. In 2009, half a billion people used mobile devices to access the internet; within five years, that figure is expected to double as the smartphone overtakes the PC as the primary device people use to get online.

That opens up enormous opportunities for Google. As Eric Schmidt explains, the smartphone makes it possible to deliver personalised information about where you are, what you could do there right now, and so forth - and to deliver such a service at scale.” To make that happen, Schmidt says, Google needs to do “some serious spadework on three fronts”. Those are improving the mobile networks we use to connect to the internet, with 8-10mb connections being the norm, developing mobile money, which we’re already seeing in the form of Google Wallet, and getting smartphones into the developing world.

“We envision literally a billion people getting inexpensive, browser-based touchscreen phones over the next few years,” Schmidt says. “Can you imagine how this will change their awareness of local and global information and their notion of education?” Can you imagine how many ads Google will show them?

  •  Small Business Development Centers - Assistance For Entrepreneurs
  •  How to set up your own virtual private network (Part 2)
  •  How to set up your own virtual private network (Part 1)
  •  LCD NEC EX201W
  •  Collaborating via Web-Based Communication Tools : Evaluating Web Conferencing Tools
  •  Visual Studio 2010 : Writing Custom Facebook Applications - Querying Data from Facebook
  •  Writing Custom Facebook Applications - Creating Your Application with Visual Studio 2010
  •  Xen Virtualization : Installing Xen from Source
  •  Xen Virtualization : Installing Xen from Binary Packages
  •  Introducing IBM BPM and ESB : IBM SOA Reference Architecture & Introducing IBM WebSphere Process Server
  •  Introducing IBM BPM and ESB : Achieving success through BPM enabled by SOA
  •  Separating BPM and SOA Processes : Example-Process for Handling Credit Card Disputes
  •  Separating BPM and SOA Processes : The Model Stack & Design Tips on Separating BPM and SOA
  •  BizTalk 2006 : Editing and Resubmitting Suspended Messages (part 2) - Pseudo-Walkthrough to Perform Edits and Resubmits
  •  BizTalk 2006 : Editing and Resubmitting Suspended Messages (part 1)
  •  BizTalk 2006 : Building a Resequencing Aggregator
  •  Windows System Programming : Listing Registry Keys and Contents
  •  Windows System Programming : Registry Management
  •  .NET Debugging : PowerDbg (part 2) - Send-PowerDbgCommand & Extending PowerDbg
    Top 10
    Windows Vista : Installing and Running Applications - Launching Applications
    Windows Vista : Installing and Running Applications - Applications and the Registry, Understanding Application Compatibility
    Windows Vista : Installing and Running Applications - Practicing Safe Setups
    Windows Server 2003 : Domain Name System - Command-Line Utilities
    Microsoft .NET : Design Principles and Patterns - From Principles to Patterns (part 2)
    Microsoft .NET : Design Principles and Patterns - From Principles to Patterns (part 1)
    Brother MFC-J4510DW - An Innovative All-In-One A3 Printer
    Computer Planet I7 Extreme Gaming PC
    All We Need To Know About Green Computing (Part 4)
    All We Need To Know About Green Computing (Part 3)
    Most View
    All You Need To Know About iOS 6 (Part 3)
    Upgrade Power - Guidelines For PSU Buyers (Part 4) - Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold 800W, Corsair Enthusiast Series Modular TX850M
    Just My Type (part 2) - ZAGGfolio,Writer Plus, keyPAD, Professional Workstation
    VLC Player : What Tricks This Great Little Player Can Do
    How To Buy…A NOTEBOOK PC (Part 2)
    Design and Deploy High Availability for Exchange 2007 : Design Edge Transport and Unified Messaging High Availability
    ROG G55VW Gaming Laptop
    The Best iPad Cases
    Troubleshooting Reference : Tablets & Smartphones
    Externalizing BLOB Storage in SharePoint 2010 (part 1)
    Dell Inspiron 14R 5420 Review (Part 1)
    Top 10 Smartphones August – September (Part 1) - Samsung Galaxy S III, HTC One X, Apple iPhone 4S,Nokia Lumia 800,Sony Xperia S
    H8-1090D Desktop PC - Elite Class
    Ditch Your Laptop For Your Phone (Part 2)
    Algorithms for Compiler Design: THE ARRAY REFERENCE
    Managing SharePoint 2010 Data : Content Types
    Seagate Backup Plus Portable HDD
    Samsung LED TV ES8000 - The SMART in Smart TV
    Lenovo IdeaPad Z580 - Keeps Up The Tradition
    Windows Server 2008 Server Core : Working with Scripts - Using the Scripting Objects