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10 uses for Google Glass and drinks

Glass half full?

Google Glass, part of a new wave of wearable technology, has just been launched to customers in the UK with a hefty price tag of £1000. Google warns that it’s still a work in progress, and that they still haven’t found the ‘killer app’ to use with it, but how could it be used in the drinks world?

 Scan barcodes and reveal data:

Pick a bottle off a shelf and use Glass’s inbuilt camera to scan the barcode on your bottle, hands free. Compare prices, and view all sorts of information about the brand without dropping your shopping.

 Augmented reality:

Like the Heads Up Display in a fighter plane, Google Glass can overlay images and information onto your view of the real world in front of you: that’s augmented reality. Wineries and distilleries can let users launch videos about their brands, right there in the shop – sweeping views of their vineyards, whisky emerging from the still, or a virtual winemaker standing in front of you, describing their wine. Alternatively shops could let you look along their wine shelves and messages would pop up in front of the best deals and the most appropriate choices based on your purchase history.

Bartenders and sommeliers:

Busy bartenders could receive cocktail orders straight to their Glass, without putting down a bottle. Just keep on mixing, hands free … and the customer never even needs to know if you’re checking the recipe too.

Real-time language translation:

Wearing Google Glass, and using the World Lens app, just look at the back label on a bottle, or a bar menu, and have it instantly translated – it appears in real time overlaid onto what you’re viewing.

Record video:

With the inbuilt camera in your Glass, take social sharing to a new level – don’t just take still pictures of your food, but how about a whole video of you enjoying that cocktail?

Winery travel:

One of Google’s original videos promoting the Glass used a trip to Napa Valley as an example. Get directions to your Glass on where to go, pull up information about individual wineries, overlay augmented reality videos of how the vineyards look at different times of the year, and see the winery itself in the grip of a busy harvest. In the UK, Glass has already been banned for use when driving, so make sure you have a willing passenger.


Consultants and viticulturalists can see what’s happening in real time from a colleague’s eye view, and advise in real time. A worker in the winery or vineyard, wearing Glass, could relay what they’re doing and get immediate advice on what to do next.


Turn the tables on the usual online ‘meet the winemaker’ interview … instead of you, the viewer, just watching the winemaker talking, you can watch a live view of what he or she is doing – so watch the winemaking, blending, grape selection process as it happens, from the winemaker’s perspective, with added live commentary from the winemaker as well.

Multisensory tasting:

We heard last week that sound and colour in particular combinations help to enhance the taste of wine. Glass could help create that mood by projecting a particular colour of lighting through the lens, and appropriate music through the earpiece.

Your usual, madam?

Retailing could change if staff are wearing Glass. Although facial recognition technology is explicitly banned, retailers could recognise customers who check in as they enter a store, and see their favourite purchase projected on the staff member’s Glass screen to offer timely recommendations.

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