The jury is still out on whether Google Glass becomes a widely used consumer device, but what is certain however is Google is pressing forward with its head-mounted wearable computer and looking at more business-related uses for it.
Earlier this month the company announced its ‘Glass at Work Certified Partners’ where, according to the official Google Plus page, it has been “searching for developers to help businesses reach their goals”. In other words, it’s fostering the use of Glass in work and business related activities.
This is a logical move. The Glass device is essentially a computer and we know that computers of the laptop, tablet and smartphone variety can lend themselves to both consumers and businesses. Glass is already being used in new and exciting ways in business too and here are ten real world examples.
Given its ability to document events in realtime it’s a no brainer that Glass could be used in a journalistic setting. Web journalism professor at USC Robert Hernandez has developed a ‘Glass Journalism‘ course which includes a module on how to create journalism content with wearables.
It isn’t just in the academic field where it’s being used however but on the beat too. Four journalists from Women’s Wear Daily took to New York Fashion Week wearing Glass to report on events. According to Paste magazine, using Glass they were able to “take video, photos and even gifs to give readers an interactive, behind-the-scenes look at what they were seeing firsthand.”
The video below is a ‘Glass view’ of what the journalists saw backstage using Glass.
2. In law enforcement
Google Glass may not be available in the UAE yet but that hasn’t stopped the Dubai Police Force from developing apps for it and using to enforce traffic law. The video below explains that Glass is being used for two reasons. The first being it will allow Dubai police officers to take pictures of traffic violators and the second use is so it can be used as an analytical tool to read the licence plate of any vehicle to check against the central database for any that are wanted.
3. In combat
War is business unfortunately and military innovations in the past have often made it in to consumer hands with the internet and microwave oven being two examples. However, in a twist of roles it seems that a predominantly civilian device could make it to the battlefield. Vice reports on ShotView which works with Glass to allow a person shooting a firearm to do so from around corners or over hills without having their head in display of whomever they’re firing at. The video below explains more.
4. Personal injury law
Business Insider reports on how a Phoenix based law firm was loaning Glass to its clients to allow them to video their post-injury daily lives. The article says, “Double-amputee Gary Verrazono, who lost an arm and a leg in a 2012 work accident, is one of those clients. He’s been using Glass for a few months and says with the device he can easily communicate with his lawyers and document his life, despite his physical limitations.”
In April we reported on eight ways Glass is disrupting the healthcare industry and Google has made health a priority in its Work Certified Partners Program and it’s easy to see why. Glass is helping surgeons operate better, doctors interact with patients easier and give medical students a birds eye view in to an operation being performed in real-time.
The New York Times reports on how the Acme Hotel Company in Chicago has began offering Glass to guests as a complimentary loan during their stay. Following their lead San Francisco boutique hotel Stanford Court has begun lending Glass to guests who book the ‘Google Glass Explorer Package’. Perhaps this offering is a little too gimicky to continue in the long-term.
7. Customer service
British Airline Virgin Atlantic has been using Glass to provide customer service for its most loyal passengers in the Upper Class lounge and London Heathrow Airport. The facial recognition software in the Glass app allows Virgin Atlantic staff to know a customer’s name, destination and even dietary requirements before the passenger has spoke. While only a trial, Glass Almanac reports that Virgin Atlantic’s IT Innovation officer deemed it a success.
8. In social media
SocialRadr is trying to take the online experience of social media to an offline setting by developing an app that allows a Glass wearer to see who is in the same room and how they’re connected to them via social media by pulling in data from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, Instagram, and Google+. It’s not clear if the other people in the room need to be wearing Glass and using the app for it to work but it seems that it may be the case.
WWF was invited to be a Glass Explorer by Google through the Giving Through Glass program and the international non-profit created a Glass app called Field Notes which provides biologists with a tool to record field data to support Nepal’s ID-based rhino monitoring program. In the beautifully shot video below you can see how Glass is being used to good effect.
10. Warehouse management
It may not be a sexy or cool vocation but Glass is proving effective in the warehouse according to Mashable where it reports on an e-fulfilment company in the Netherlands called Active Ants gave Glass – along with a custom-built stock app – to it warehouse workers and reported a reduced error rate of 12% and an increased speed at stock picking by 15%. As I said, it’s not sexy or cool but the numbers speak for themselves.