“Google Gesture” Student Concept Video Delights Then Disappoints Web Audiences
Let’s touch on some awesome, albeit “fake,” technology! Let’s also touch on how “fake” marketing might also lead to some pretty fascinating technological advancement. Based on my research, the “Google Gesture” program involves an app that strives to help people understand sign language in real-time with the help of a wearable wristband that analyzes muscle movements made when signing in a process known as electromyography. The movements read by the wristband would then, in theory, be communicated to the app and translated into audible words pretty much instantaneously.
Sounds neat, right? However, the concept video that went viral on the web was actually created by marketing students at Berghs School of Communication in Sweden and, as stated in a follow-up article put out by Mashable, “The concept isn’t real, but the thinking behind it is smart: an app that can translate sign language into speech, with the help of a wearable wristband. The video was filmed by students at Berghs School of Communication and is presented as though it was developed by Google.”
The concept video is fabulous and would serve as a wonderful marketing tool. It tactfully addresses the needs that Google Gesture technology would meet and introduces the profound impact such technology would have on the communication abilities of many individuals around the world. After watching the video, I felt deeply moved; I understood the technology, respected the mission of Google behind the technology, and would certainly support its further development and widespread use.
The video does a fine job of outlining scientific information in some pretty basic terms and with strong graphic representation. It also nicely plays on the heart strings of people everywhere by addressing the human condition, and specifically, our need to communicate with one another. As stated by Ludwig Hallstensson, a member of the team that dreamt up the concept and put together the promotional video, “Sure, new technologies are really cool, but it is first when they are interacting with humans in a way that they solve real problems [that] they get interesting. When this is achieved, you can communicate in [a] way that makes people listen and care about them, not only thinking it is cool.”
So, although the concept video nor the product are actually real, much can be gained from taking a look at what some creative young people not only envisioned, but also successfully marketed. While the product doesn’t currently exist, the video was so touching that I sincerely wish it did! And so do many others who expressed sadness and frustration at learning the product is not currently in existence. But hey, given the positive social media coverage resulting from the concept video, and subsequent uproar as interested parties learned the product doesn’t yet exist, I imagine Google may soon take heed, turn some dreams into reality, and positively impact society in the process.
You can watch the Google Gesture concept video here: https://mashable.com/2014/06/20/google-gesture-app/
Let me know your thoughts on both the fictitious product and the concept video in a comment below!