Google Glass in the Workplace

Google Glass in the Workplace

Posted on November 05, 2014 0 Comments

Google Glass

Image by Daniev used under Creative Commons 3.0 license

We're at the beginning of a new wave in wearable technology. Google Glass is one such platform being used across industries for wide variety of interesting tasks. Progress Pacific checks in on the Google Glass Developer Conference to find out what people are saying about developing apps for these devices.

Wearable devices—technology-embedded watches, glasses, and clothing—are popular among consumers, primarily for their novelty.

Smart glasses in particular are increasingly popular as organizations are seeing how they can benefit from workplace applications of this technology.

The Buzz from Google Glass Developer Conference

At the recent Google Glass developer conference (GGDevCon), business use was at the forefront of discussions as Steve Willinger, business development manager at Google, delivered the keynote address, “Glass at Work: Hands-free Computing for Hands-On Work.”

According to Willinger, many companies are using Google Glass to solve business challenges. Although some of these business applications are still in the pilot or experimental stages, Glass is being used for tasks such as training and verifying task completion, as well as communication. For example, said Willinger:

As people go through that [training] checklist, at some point they’re going to have the wrong info displayed in the wrong way. If I get to step three and I don’t know how to do it, I can drill down and get instructions, rich with multimedia. The cost of having someone not do a step is extremely high. Providing the right documentation at the right time is really powerful. This also has the benefit of being cacheable.

Out in the field, particularly in the energy sector, Google Glass can help ensure worker safety. Said Willinger:

When a lineman is working on a power line, for example, Google Glass can be used to determine whether a line is actually off and, integrating it with communications features, ensures it will not be activated without proper notice.

Glasses-based wearables are, according to Forbes, being used “in manufacturing, field services, construction, and medicine to free up workers’ hands while accessing important information.”

Saving Lives with Wearable Apps

Google Glass users need the information delivered by the device’s apps to be valuable, contextual, and personalized. And app developers need to keep the device’s unique interface in mind. Rick Costanzo, head of SAP’s mobile business, told Forbes that these features are key to driving enterprise development and adoption.

SAP’s Amisha Gandhi expounded on the possibility:

The implications for healthcare, oil/gas, transportation and even in the office are enormous—this is an opportunity for all of us to develop something impactful. Imagine a field maintenance worker being able to use his voice to log in activity and also monitor his biometrics for safety. With wearables properly combined with analytics and data—we can literally save lives.

The healthcare industry has expressed interest in the technology as well. Doctors and nurses could access vital signs and other data without looking away from a patient, improving patient care.

Willenger says an ecosystem of solutions providers and developers is needed so customers wishing to implement Google Glass can integrate it with other systems. This might include back-end systems and legacy data or assets. Google now has 10 such partners focused on these pieces of the wearables deployment puzzle.

For additional information on Google Glass application development, please see the Glass Development Kit website.

Michelle Tackabery

An experienced content and social media marketing professional, Michelle writes frequently about the practical applications of information technology.


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