In our day-to-day, we use Google in several ways for both business and personal use. Google, or rather the new parent company Alphabet, wants users and invests hugely in technology and research. The result is some new Google tools in the pipeline that home improvement contractors can benefit from. Let’s take a closer look at these unique tools that are now available or under development: Project Tango, Project Ara, Magic Leap, Project Aura, and Project Fi.
We think Project Tango can help roofing contractors get a better sense of depth perception and make precise measurements easily via mobile devices. This can make a remarkable difference in daily work, bringing motion tracking, depth perception, and area learning access that can help you find your way around quickly, measure the world, and walk through spaces. You may be able to take photographs and videos of these experiences and share them, which could result in some of the best contractor marketing you can provide! For example, if you can share this info and experience via Google Play, you could reach a global audience that can range from future customers to students, contractors, and partners.
What information device is more personal than your smartphone? Today you usually buy a device and all your customization is done within the smartphone with apps. Don’t you wish you were able to give the project supervisor at a site a phone that has a better camera? With this tool, users may have the ability to assemble a phone completely or add and remove modules based on usage. Project Ara helps you make decisions on what your device does and how to use it as a creative canvas.
Another development underway is Magic Leap, a project where computer graphics get integrated into everyday experiences in a natural way, while offering extraordinary simulated experiences. In the roofing business, you don’t expect your customer to walk the roof with you. You can take video of the roof and explain the various issues you see and the places where you need to replace shingles. Mark areas on the roof and educate homeowners on why and where a repair is necessary. In addition, a home inspector can show potential homebuyers weaknesses and time-lapse visual effects.
Project Aura (formerly Google Glass)
After Google put a hold on its Glass project, it launched Project Aura, an ongoing project to design a wearable technology product that builds upon Glass functionality but does not have a screen and only uses audio to convey information. When we used Google Glass, we loved the ability to take photos and video hands-free and get it uploaded instantly. In the new concept, Project Aura can give you more access to control other devices and add an element of virtual reality, according to an article in the Business Insider. On the job site, any device that lets you do your work hands-free is definitely a plus. Instead of holding a camera, on-site teams can use this to take footage and pictures and also record notes to be uploaded directly to your office software.
It’s not an easy choice to choose a cellphone provider. Google’s Project Fi lets you switch easily between wifi and cellular networks, and also provides the ability to answer calls on any device if you get a call on your Project Fi number. For roofing businesses that are always on the go, this service may be too early to use. Google is testing this service by invitation only, with pricing based on usage. If the project is successful and they expand coverage, you will have the ability to make all your devices capable of sending and receiving calls and acquiring access to mobile data.
Choosing technology is tough. According to Chief Marketer, there are over 1,800 marketing technology companies. You are probably getting calls from vendors several times a day. Use a three-point yardstick when you decide to use a new technology, including the ones above, and ask yourself these three questions:
- Does it help with the growth of my company?
- Does it make the experience better for my customers?
- Does it save costs and increase efficiency?
You may be using services like Google Maps, Google Earth, and Google My Business already. What did we miss? Let us know of any new technology that has caught your attention by commenting below.
Chris Marentis is a guest blogger and the opinions expressed herein are his own and not the views of GAF.