While privacy and fashion concerns dampen consumer interest in Google Glass, the technocratic search engine is continuing to push into the business enterprise and workplace. It revealed the first five partners accepted into its "Glass at Work" program.
As virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift and Sony Morpheus enthrall consumers, specifically gamers, Google's augmented reality headset could find a home in the heart of commerce. Google's two-month-old "Glass at Work" initiative has chosen APX Labs, Augmedix, Crowd Optic, GuidiGo and Wearable Intelligence to develop enterprise applications.
Glass partner Augmedix has stated Google's headset will revolutionize the medical industry. After trying out Google Glass, Ian Shakil and Pelu Tran launched Augmedix and have since raised $7 million in support.
Augmedix aims to streamline the acquisition and dissemination of patient data using Google Glass. So far, physicians from three focus groups have reported use of Google Glass has decreased time spent entering patient data from 33 percent to 9 percent and increased the amount of time allotted for delivery of direct care to patients from 35 percent to 70 percent.
A November 2013 report by Gartner, a market analysis firm, predicted the use of Google Glass could save the field service industry approximately $1 billion each year, starting as soon as 2017. Angela McIntyre, research director at Gartner, stated Google Glass could increase worker efficiency in field such as health care, retail and manufacturing.
"In the next three to five years, the industry that is likely to experience the greatest benefit from smartglasses is field service, potentially increasing profits by $1 billion annually," stated McIntyre. "The greatest savings in field service will come from diagnosing and fixing problems more quickly and without needing to bring additional experts to remote sites."
Gartner predicted adoption of Google Glass and other AR headsets would crawl for a period, before breaking through into the mainstream. The research firm cited the lack of applications available to leverage the technology, an issue Google has sought to address with its "Glass at Work" program and partnerships.
But while Google seems to be establishing a foothold in the enterprise environment, consumers have cited privacy concerns as the reason why. About 72 percent of individuals who stated they would use Google Glass cited privacy concerns when polled by Toluna, a market research firm, along with safety concerns from distractions while walking.
Google Glass's price tag, currently set at $1,500, may also play a large role in hesitance on the part of consumers to embrace the wearable tech. Though it's been rumored that the headset might see a roughly $300 price tag in its consumer form.