Google Glass could get a look at the enterprise
Glass eyewear could be helpful for sales, maintenance, healthcare and law enforcement
Computerworld - While the curious are looking to get their hands on a pair of Google's Glass, companies also may be looking to weave the computerized eyeglasses into their businesses.
"We see wearables as the logical next step at work," said Kelly Merrell, director of Android development for Mercury Intermedia in Brentwood, Tenn. "It's important for someone working offsite to have information about the location they're going to and to be able to get information about the task they're going to perform."
Glass is a major project for Google, which has put prototypes of the device in the hands of several thousand developers and early adopters.
The glasses provide users with such features as maps, search results, weather forecasts and breaking news on a transparent lens that sits just above the user's right eye. Glass can be manipulated by voice, touch and even gesture control.
It's not clear when Glass officially will be released to the market. This spring, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said Glass would ship in the spring or early summer of 2014. However, during Google I/O, sources said Glass is expected to ship later this year.
"I can definitely see enterprise uses for Glass," said Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research. "Retail and healthcare industries are obvious. Say, with retail, salespeople could have real-time inventory information. And I could see a CEO wearing them during a company meeting to have up-to-date information displayed. They'd work wherever real-time information is needed."
Patrick Moorhead, an analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, said he could envision police officers wearing Glass to record arrests and get mapping information.
"Think of the auto repairman who can have step-by-step repair manuals overlaid over Glass," he added. "I can foresee beneficial vertical applications in product design, repair, transportation and law enforcement. And with any application where augmented reality, recording or communication is important, Glass can add value."
Eric Schrag, a senior Android engineer for Comcast, said that he planned to talk with his boss about ways to use Glass on the job.
"Comcast might use it when they send a tech out to a house," said Schrag, who was testing his new pair of Glass at Google I/O. "You could get a map to a customer's house. It would be helpful on service outings. It would be good if there were issues happening in real time with the system."
However, privacy concerns have already been raised with Glass even before it's officially shipped. A major concern is its ability to potentially take photos or shoot video surreptitiously.
Kerravala noted that those same concerns will show up in the enterprise.
"And there would be the added concern about Glass being able to tap into the company's data stream," he said, adding that it would be akin to enterprise concerns about smartphones and tablets. "It's another means of getting at company data."
Moorhead said enterprises may have privacy concerns about Glass, but they can limit and lock down the applications used on them.
Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about Emerging Technologies in Computerworld's Emerging Technologies Topic Center.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Shifting Gears: The Value of Customer-Driven Quality in Manufacturing In today's competitive manufacturing market, the customer must be the center of the quality universe. This paper details how manufacturers can improve customer...
- Aberdeen Group: Marketing Analytics for Manufacturing: Forging Customer Insights There are no recalls for poor marketing. Manufacturers need to get their customer intelligence and messaging right the first time. Learn how.
- Unlocking the Promise of Demand Sensing and Shaping through Big Data Analytics Many organizations have limited insight into big data. These limitations have significant opportunity costs and can have a negative effect on identifying and...
- The Brave New World of Customer-Centric Manufacturing The Unique Opportunity for Manufacturers to Better Understand their Consumers
- Webinar: Building a Big Data solution that's production-ready Big data solutions are no longer just a nice-to-have.
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well... All Emerging Technologies White Papers | Webcasts
As emerging technologies evolve they often find an initial niche in highly specialized scenarios, or in specific industry verticals, before expanding to wider areas of applicability. Within these initial niches, the early adopters can be anything from digital enthusiasts to fashionistas, or they can be folks simply using the technology because it serves a specific need extremely well. (free registration required) more