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Google Glass: Do Tesco deserve a break?

For Tesco it seems that it never rains – it simply just pours down.

Tesco have had a bad time in 2014. First we had the £250m accounting problem in it’s profit forecasts and the Tesco share value dropped by 50%. A number of top executives stepped aside and more recently Tesco has announced store closures plus expansion plans for many sites mothballed or cancelled. Add to this the fact that many shoppers seem to have fallen out of love with Tesco with the discount stores like Aldi and Lidl eating into Tesco’s marketshare meaning that  all in all its been a torrid time for Tesco.

Then this week we heard about Google Glass.

Google’s Glass eyeware went on sale in June 2014 after extensive trials in the USA. Google Glass are niche £1000 smartglasses where the functionality is built into the glasses frame. This functionality includes WIFI, GPS, speakers, microphone, camera, screen and a touchpad. All this functionality can be directed by voice control. However  initial excitement about the wearable technology wore off when there were many complaints  about privacy and the fact that wearing the glass was socially awkward. Many restaurants and bars banned the wearing of this technology.

About the same time that Google launched it Google Glass product in the UK Tesco announced that they were going to develop an App for users that enhanced the shopping experience with Tesco. The App allows customers to browse groceries and check the nutritional value of the products and add them to an online basket which you can later review and order via your tablet or smartphone. Tesco said that the App integrates the shopping experience into everyday life allowing customers to order and add as and when the need for replacement arises. When the App was launched one of Tesco’s developers said “…I can’t help but feel that this is the beginning of the journey for Glass and for Tesco…”.

The same day as Tesco announced the launch of its Google Glass Application  Google itself announced it was pulling its Google Glass off the shelf “in its current form”. Google say they are still committed to working on the future of this product but have issued as yet no roadmap although industry watchers seem confident that the next iteration of the product will be attractive to both consumers and businesses.

So given the torrid time experienced by Tesco over the last year or so don’t they deserve a break?

Steve Blythe  (Recruitment and Social Media Commentator).

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