Google gets all up in developers' Glass about branding

It's Glass. Just Glass. Always Glass. Big "G"; little "lass." Never refer to "Glass's timeline" and never ever call it "Google Glasses." Luddite.

These were just a few of the lessons in the branding guidelines for Glass developers. Branding, while anal in nature, is important—particularly when introducing an entirely new technological form factor.

If Glass is indeed the wearable technology that takes off with the public, there will be a whole new mess of reappropriated words with specific connotations entering the lexicon ("timeline," "swipe," and even "Glass" itself).

It makes sense that Google would want to take hold of the agreed-upon language so that the public can have an intelligent conversation about them.

Words are important.

Not to be a glasshole, but...

For one thing, Mountain View insists that "Glass" is always capitalized and is only used with generic terms, i.e. "Glass features" or "Glass optics."

Also, the term is never plural. Like many people, when the technology was first debuted, my brain wanted so badly to call it "Google Glasses." But that's a no-no. "Google Glasses" may one day become "The Internets" of the wearable age—a misspoken phrase that is indicative of one's age and distance from technology.

Google has also asked developers to never use the possessive form of the word. So, users should never "swipe through Glass's timeline," but rather "Glass users" might be encouraged to "swipe through their timeline."

The public will eventually decide how it will refer to things, for now it's all Mountain View's branding office. 

When it comes to naming apps, Mountain View would prefer that developers never include Glass in the name of their brand. Rather they should attach the phrase "for Glass" at the end. Using Google's example "Glass Cat Facts" would be a strict no-no for an app that sends facts about felines directly to your face. However, "Cat Facts for Glass" would be just fine for you to get your tabby trivia fix.

You manufacture, we decide

It's also interesting that while not specified here, Google has seemed to shy away from branding its own device "Google Glass." The company has—mercifully from a blogger's point of view—simplified the name simply to "Glass."

Ultimately, it's the public that will decide how it will want to refer to things: You can "xerox" things on a copier made by Toshiba, or repost an image on Instagram though an unofficial "regram."

Of course, before the public gets its hands (face?) into a product that has yet to be widely released, Google will have primary influence on the language around it. Unfortunately for some developers, that means that a lot of the Glass apps listed on this unofficial apps page may have new branding work to do.

Subscribe to the Best of TechHive Newsletter

Comments