Google Glass is one of the more popular wearable technologies on the horizon. It sits on your face just like a pair of glasses. A glass prism sits right above the eye on the right side of the frame. Some people question if the glass prism creates an obstacle in front of the eye, but it sits above the eye and isn't intrusive. As a matter of fact, you can't see the glass image if you sit the frame too low on the face due to the angle that directs light to the eye.
Glass uses your smartphone's Bluetooth connection to synchronize your data. You use your smartphone's hotspot to connect Glass to the Internet. Because Glass is a wearable computer, it needs storage space. You get 16GB of storage space for videos, images and apps.
Google Glass is still in its beta stage, which Google calls "Explorer." You need an invite to get a pair of Google Glasses, and just being a beta tester costs you $1500 plus shipping expenses. Glass is wearable technology, which isn't at all innovative today, but the way Google Glass works is brilliantly different from any of its predecessors.
Glass was a catalyst for several app ideas for the visually impaired. The glass prism displays a clear image into the eye that can be used to help people identify unseen objects around them. Glass uses voice commands, so the wearer can take video and images without using his hands.
Some people criticize Glass as a hobbyist's toy, but it has potential and enough testers to possibly become the next wearable computer that people won't leave home without. It could even improve the lives of people with disabilities.
But is Google Glass only an end-consumer item? When smartphones and other tablets initially showed up, consumers were the first adopters. This also allowed the manufacturers to tweak their technologies, and allowed software developers to create useful apps for the business environment. With a plethora of apps now available, these devices have become a “Corporate” item. We have witnessed these devices in use in various corporate environments already. Any corporate websites built these days typically have to go through mobile/tablet testing, which means that corporate decision makers acknowledge that users will use their websites using mobile devices.
I see similar future for Google Glass. I’ve already heard apps being developed for the Glass platform that include GPS, iPod like music player, texting, personal fitness, sports simulation and others. They all typically fall under “consumer” space. But that’s no different from smartphones and tablets when they were first introduced. So how will Corporate America use these new wearable devices? Some ideas I foresee that could translate to business apps include a Presentation Projector, corporate database information lookup, inventory check-in/checkout in a warehouse environment (with a built in bar code reader add-on), and lets not forget the all important app “reading corporate emails”.
While I don’t see Google Glass in an office/desk environment, but I see uses for this device in mobile/active workforce not tied to a desk like me :-)But then again, when I am at my desk, I am typically using a PC, but when away from my desk, I do find myself using my smartphone and tablet devices.
So IT managers should get ready to handle more ‘wearable technology’ devices and integrating them with your current IT infrastructure.
What do you think?