With Google’s recent announcement that it is relaunching its trailblazing augmented reality (AR) wearable, Google Glass (Enterprise Edition) is back and poised to help many businesses transform the way they operate.
Google Glass may not have been ready for consumer markets when it first debuted in 2012, but commercial audiences were excited to put the technology to work — a realization that, in 2014, prompted Google to organize a special team dedicated to improving Glass with new features and specifications geared to better support enterprise businesses.
Early adopters of Google Glass were quick to find applications in industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, and energy. An unobtrusive, hands-free device like Google Glass was ideal for equipping workers with real-time instructional information, improving remote collaboration, and also recording video from the employee’s point of view.
And while the buzz may have quieted for now, a recent Forrester Research report predicts rapid growth in this emerging market — by 2025, nearly 14.4 million US workers will wear smart glasses.
Of course, Google wasn’t the only company to notice the demand for field-of-vision AR wearables in enterprise businesses. The second generation of Google Glass will enter the market with fresh competitors looking improve on the smart glasses for work concept. Epson and Lenovo, both well-established manufacturers of office technologies, have entered the game with the Epson Moverio and the Lenovo New Glass C200. Similar smart glasses have also been designed by start-ups like Vuzix and Optinvent. And there is of course new evidence of Apple making moves, suggesting it will also offer smart glasses in the future.
Why Businesses Love The Concept and Design of Smart Glasses
Smart glasses, compared to other immersive augmented reality devices, offer a version of AR that lets workers shift their view between a virtual overlay of digital information and actual reality seamlessly — a feat some refer to as “mixed” or “assisted” reality.
Ultimately, smart glasses have the potential to help workers do their jobs better and more efficiently. The tools provide a new level of access to instructions and guides (as well as new means to provide a first-person view of any issues or opportunities), while the lightweight, hands-free design doesn’t get in the way performing physical tasks in the field, in warehouses, or in factories.
Putting Smart Glasses to Work
In its recent feature about Google Glass 2.0, Wired describes one example in which Glass is being used at work. Workers at a tractor assembly line build complex custom-ordered farm equipment with the help of Google Glass, which helps them keep track of all the specifications of each vehicle and walks them through all the steps of the build. With the ability to access information in Glass with voice commands or simple hand gestures, it is a more functional and less conspicuous tool than a tablet, laptop or even a smartphone.
Related Reading: Help Your Field Technicians With Video
As smart glasses continue to adapt to commercial needs, enterprise businesses will also keep discovering new applications for assisted reality technology, including:
- Healthcare professionals can use smart glasses to access video walkthroughs of procedures.
- Utilities and energy workers can use glass in the field to record video for reports or to improve safety.
- Technology workers can record and access troubleshooting documents or demonstration videos.
Example of a How-Two Video Recorded With Google Glass
Smart Glasses and AR Expand The Ways Businesses Will Use Video
As smart glasses and new AR technologies permeate the workplace, the number of workers creating and viewing video will grow in kind. The availability of smart glasses will make it easier for on-site experts to create new first-person video content that can be used to spread knowledge and train others. And more and more employees that today have no practical means of review training materials on-demand from the job floor will soon find themselves perfectly equipped to call up a recording so that they might follow along as they work.
If you’re thinking about using smart glasses in your business in the future, you’ll need a video content management system (video CMS) to make finding and playing video content as easy as possible for your employees. With advanced video search technology and the ability to optimize video playback on any device, a video CMS will allow your company to manage and share video content in ways that a LMS or LAN folder system won’t. Learn all the reasons your business needs a video CMS.