I admit it, I was skeptical about Google Glass. I didn’t understanding it and but had a hunch of what the goal of the product was. I was immediately reminded of an episode of NOVA or some other science show I saw on PBS as a teenager about some students at MIT developing a wearable computer. The unique part of this wearable computer (which probably was powered by a 75 pound 486 with a turbo button) was that it had a camera you would wear on your head. What it was able to do is capture your day’s activities, point out names of individuals as they walked by so you didn’t forget their name, and several other interesting things. Neat.
Fast forward to present day. Google Glass comes into our lives (beta) and the nerds rushed to it. People paid the $1500 to be one of the first. Apps were developed. People became concerned about privacy. Users became labeled as dorks for wearing them. All the things you would expect to hear from consumers and critics around the globe. I fell in the bucket of those who thought Google Glass was rude to wear around friends and family, and possibly an invasion of privacy. How do I know you are paying attention to me when I talk to you? Are you recording something you shouldn’t?
However, I do believe it has a place in the workplace. Having tried them on once, you can’t help but feel a bit Universal Soldier and Terminator like. In the work place, and I’m not talking about your white collared desk job, I see a lot of benefits for the field workers.
Those men and women who make sure your phone lines don’t go out in a storm. Those folks who come to repair your fridge so that your salted caramel ice cream doesn’t melt. The proud men and women who serve and protect your community. The Google Glass can be for you. When the repairman comes to your house to fix that fridge, he can have all the instructions and data available right in the Glass on how to fix it. Sure, he’s knowledgable, but come across something he’s not familiar with, he/she can be guided step by step with an app, possibly even guided by a human being from the manufacturer in real time. Keep their hands free and keep them connected without looking away.
I for one would like to see this adopted this way. Let’s build some great apps for the Glass and put it in front of the field workers.