Here’s Looking at You – Still. Google Glass for Industry
Roopinder Tara posted on July 25, 2017 |
Ahead of its time for consumers but companies discovered Glass as productivity enhancer

Google Glass, the futuristic eyewear by Google that would start filming people if you blinked twice – freaked a lot of people out. A new term was coined (glasshole) for the wearer, who took a risk of getting beat up by people who didn’t take kindly to being filmed.

While Google may have miscalculated its acceptance by the public and trimmed its expectations to less than having Glass on everyone’s face, the company never really abandoned Glass. It recently launched a 2nd version. This one has a red light that goes on when it’s recording. Wearers should, theoretically, get beat up less often.

This guy doesn't mind wearing Glass. Picture from Wired magazine, courtesy of AGCO.
This guy doesn't mind wearing Glass. Picture from Wired magazine, courtesy of AGCO.

It what may been an unintended success, Glass had struck a chord in a few big companies. According to a recent Wired magazine article, factories, supply-chain workers, medical professionals and the like, had adopted Glass and registered blistering productivity gains with it. Nothing like having the data you need beamed right into your eye to speed up inventory checks, for example. And rather than be the creeper with goofy glasses on the subway, a construction or factory worker is more likely to don smart glasses -- not much goofier than OSHA mandated safety glasses he was forced to wear.

Glass is not cheap, $1300 to $1500 a pair, and while that may be overkill to record friends’ drunken antics, it is easily justifiable when it adds productivity to a first world manufacturing/construction/knowledge worker.

Smartglasses by Intel, modeled by @nazt64, one of many on displayed at AR World Expo 2017.
Smart glasses by Intel, modeled by Naz Tavakoli, one of many on display at AR World Expo 2017.

Google has discovered industry as the natural market through the hard experience of a public failure and thus provided a valuable lesson for smart glass vendors. Judging from the many exhibitors displaying some version of smart glasses at the recently held AR/VR conference, it’s likely you will be seeing smart glasses soon in a workplace near you.

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