After a lackluster launch, Google Glass is making a comeback but this time with an eye towards factories and business enterprises.
Google Glass first launched in 2014 and, for all of its sci-fi promise, failed to make a dent with the public. The biggest issue, despite how neat the hardware might have been, is that it was simply too expensive and too impractical for the average consumer to make use of. However, Google has recently relaunched the project as Glass Enterprise Edition and it appears to be a much better fit.
Google Glass In The Workplace
No longer geared toward consumer use, Google Glass is now only available through "Glass Partners" which are companies that make custom-built versions of Google Glass headsets for various industries. One such example are the headsets worn by the engineers and mechanics at GE Aviation. Airplane repair and maintenance is a complex and time-consuming task. The job is made even more tedious thanks to the fact that those working on the planes would often have to consult diagrams and manuals in between each step as even a small error could lead to long delays.
Thanks to Google Glass, GE Aviation has seen improvements in its repair process.
"GE's mechanics now use Glass running software from our partner Upskill, which shows them instructions with videos, animations and images right in their line of sight so they don't have to stop work to check their binders or computer to know what to do next," said Glass's Jay Kothari. Since using Glass with Upskill, they estimate that they have not only reduced errors at key points in the assembly and overhaul of engines, but that they have improved their mechanics' efficiency by between 8-12%."
Wearable tech such as Google Glass has obvious benefits for the workplace. By allowing users to access diagrams, manuals, safety guidelines, and other information while not looking away from the task at hand, Google Glass can speed up the process of a lot of factory jobs.
The Boring, But Profitable Future
When Google Glass was first announced, it seemed like something out of Star Trek and many of us were excited to see what the future would hold. It turns out that the future of augmented reality headsets won't be found on the streets, but in the offices and factories. That might seem disappointing, but we still have plenty of augmented and virtual reality devices to look forward to.
Google Glass' future might lie in factories and offices for now, but computers also started out as mere tools for work. Who knows what the future might hold for augmented reality headsets.
Eric Brackett Tech Times editor Eric Brackett is a tech junkie and a gamer, covering science and technology. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter for updates and his random thoughts on the latest trends in gaming, tech, and comic books.