Positive feedback as bank trials hi-tech Google Glass

COLLETTE DEVLIN
Last updated 05:00 30/04/2014
google glass
JOHN HAWKINS/FAIRFAX NZ
SEEING THE FUTURE: Westpac Southland business development manager Murray Heath tries on a pair of Google glasses and is assisted by Westpac online and digital specialist Daryl Ooh.

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Google Glass - the electronic specs - could be the future, and Southlanders are well placed to operate them.

The glasses operate like a smartphone, while displaying all of the information in the user's field of vision.

Westpac Invercargill staff and customers had the opportunity to get a sneak peek through the futuristic specs yesterday.

The bank is one of only three in the world, and the first in New Zealand, to be given a few prototypes of the hi-tech products to trial, which use voice and touch to control various apps.

Westpac online and digital specialist Daryl Ooh demonstrated how users could use the voice activated device for banking purposes - to get an account balance and transfer between accounts.

The prototype was programmed for American accents, which caused a little hiccup during the demonstration, when a few Rs were rolled.

However, users could programme their personal glasses to their voice, Ooh said.

Users could ask for directions to the closest ATM, Google search, call, send messages, take pictures and shoot videos.

Ooh said it could change banking in New Zealand.

Westpac was unsure whether they would be "the next big thing", but they would take a chance because the feedback had been positive.

Southland business development manager Murray Heath said the bank had seen an increase in digital banking in the region.

He believed Southland would embrace the new technology.

"We want to be ready for what our customers need," he said.

Heath, who tried out the glasses, said they were easy to use.

Westpac chief digital officer Simon Pomeroy said 2014 was poised globally to be the year of wearable technology and would be available later this year in New Zealand.

 

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