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Hotel Near Me app completes first booking via Google Glass

Online travel agency has released the free “Hotel Near Me” application following what it claims is the world’s first successful hotel booking through Google Glass.

Aimed towards tech-savvy frequent travelers, the app uses the wearer’s GPS location data to search for and display the closest hotels. By bringing up nearby locations, Google makes the results relevant and, if the consumer asks to see this information, it is logical to assume Google could boost its search business with paid listings.

“The notion of location-based ad delivery is not new. What is new is the insertion of this into Google Glass where the combination of head’s up display, opt-in and location awareness could usher in a whole new ad unit,” said Wilson Kerr, vice president of business development and sales at Unbound Commerce, Boston.

“Google is on a mission to untether the power of the Web from your laptop or desktop.”

“When people are out and about, their location is known and coupling this with ratings and reviews for hotels makes a lot of sense,” he said.

Right place, right time
Glass wearers can browse hospitality options and filter results based on price by either swiping or tapping the unit, or else by voice commands such as “book hotel.”

“Hotel Near Me” is also capable of displaying detailed information on each listing and can create an imaginable experience through an augmented reality virtual tour.

Once a hotel is chosen, the app redirects to to finalize the reservation and allows for special instructions or concerns to be addressed if desired.

Destinia plans to add more functionality to the app, and is also developing an international version with multiple languages and currencies for the Android and iOS platforms on smartphones.

Every move you make
Thanks to GPS, Glass’s omnipresence recalls a user’s location, route, and interests based on input, not unlike its matriarch, Google search.

Similar to ads served to users configured by historical likes and posts on Facebook, Glass has potential to drum up mobile advertising revenue, though it presents an interesting solution to the challenges of mobile marketing.

Albeit promotional and push notifications sent to smartphones place a brand front and center, they are easily ignored or may go unnoticed if a handheld is not within clutch.

Wearing Glass would make an offer much harder to pass on if it were to pop up on the lens.

Compared to PC on-screen advertising, location-based ads on Google Glass would take up too much space for the eye to ignore and may exponentially increase the chances of a wearer opting to act on an offer.

Kenneth Cole recently was donned the first advertiser to incorporate a Glass app into its marketing mix.

In celebration of a new cologne launch, the brand asked users to submit photos of themselves doing good deeds for 21 days, an initiative formed by the chivalrous nature of the new fragrance.

Though only 10-20,000 individuals presently wear Google Glass, challenged by a limited marketing reach, advertisers predict the device will take off later this year, and are honing their approach through early experimentation.

During the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain this past February, Blippar debuted a new augmented reality app for Glass that serves up content by real-world interaction triggers such as software recognized signs and billboards.

If this were to become successful, it could mean third party smart glass prototypes go mainstream, and aside from competing on style and functionality, will rival traditional tactile advertising.

“The impact of mobile is profound, as Web access is now a part of most people’s everyday life, via their smartphones, but there is a problem,” Mr. Kerr said.

“Social resistance to people staring down into their phone screens is building, and Google sees this. It’s also very dangerous. Head’s up display, done tactfully and could well be a game-changer.”

Final Take:
Michelle is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York