Voice actors may be curious as to how they can take advantage of what’s becoming the technology of the year, Google Glass. As a quick recap, Google Glass is a new wearable computing device that you put on like normal glasses. The glasses have a tiny but powerful computer in it, giving you all the same functionality as your smartphone.
Google Glass uses speech recognition to accept voice commands in order for people to control the device. These voice commands, sometimes referred to as voice actions, provide a fast, easy and hands-free way to navigate around Google Glass.
Opportunities for Voice Actors
When a new technology comes to the market or, in this case, is still on the horizon, your first thought as a voice actor should be “how can I provide my voice for this technology?”
Google Glass users can install Glassware, or apps, that provide additional functionality. Currently there are only a handful of apps, including:
- Gmail – Fast, searchable email with less spam.
- Facebook – Connect with friends and the world around you.
- Twitter – Your global town square.
- NY Times – Get hourly updates and breaking news alerts.
One of these, the NY Times app allows the Glass wearer to listen to the stories being read aloud. Yes, the wording on the Glass screen actually says “Read Aloud.” The app is currently using text-to-speech, however the experience could be significantly better by having professional voice actors read the daily headlines.
Once Google opens up the Glassware store, developers from around the world will be submitting their applications, or should I say, Glassware for inclusion. Gaming is an obvious application and one where voice actors could provide the voices for characters or even the voice of a narrator telling the story.
The education market is already getting excited about Google Glass. As we’ve witnessed at Voices.com, voice-overs for educational purposes such as e-learning programs from K-12 through to colleges and universities are in high demand.
It’s my experience that once a multimedia production is over 30 seconds in length, then working with a professional voice actor is a must. This couldn’t be more true than in the education market. While the tendency for developers may be to find the low cost alternative (text-to-speech), educational content publishers must remember that they are in the business of teaching people. What better way than with the human voice, calmly instructing the student, guiding them to new heights of learning.
It’s likely inevitable that some form of commercial content will be on Google Glass. At present, there are no ads, not even in the Google search results, but one can image where audio ads, possibly location-based audio ads, could be made available.
For instance, one of the features of Google Glass is called “Places Nearby.” Pulling from its vast ‘points of interest’ network, Google offers up a handful places nearby for users, typically 3-6. These places are mostly restaurants but it’s reasonable to expect more points of interest that are ideal for tourists including parks, museums, hotels, theatres, sporting venues and more.
You can tap on each place to learn more or place a call. It would be equally helpful to hear an audio ad for the place offering me a coupon code, special offer, or some other relevant information.
Learning More About Google Glass
Google Glass has the potential to be a breakthrough product. As a professional voice actor, make it your responsibility to learn about this new technology by reading up on it, watching videos and, if you get the opportunity, try it on for yourself.
At Voices.com we’ll be holding webinars and discussing Google Glass more in the coming weeks – so stay tuned!