Google Glass – Enterprise Edition 2

You know, I vaguely remember when the initial Google Glass launched and I had a similar reaction then. I can see the potential, but like VR gaming the cost isn’t well aligned with the value of the experience. Of course, this varies somewhat, as it lends itself to some applications a little better than others.

Still, it’s nice to see it gradually improving instead of just dead. They now have a Glass Enterprise Edition 2.

This is at least closer to what I thought these devices would be best used for. As a consumer device it seemed like an expensive novelty than a functional addition. Working in manufacturing, though, I see a lot of potential in AR and automated vision systems. There are a lot of inspection tasks involved in QC that aren’t well suited to humans. Mostly because we forget, get distracted and/or bored, especially when you literally do it several hundred times an hour and only find one or two defects. It breeds complacency. After all, if the last two hundred are good, what are the odds the next one will be the bad one?

Still, vision systems are expensive and commercial full vision AR technology hasn’t caught up with it yet.

Some of their images show it being used for mechanical work, which could be useful in the right context, but it wouldn’t save a lot of time compared to having a proper manual handy. I’ve done my fair share, both at home and at work, and simply don’t see a strong case for it. Yeah, it’s slightly handier than a reference manual and/or my phone, but not $999 handy.

I’m still thinking like a consumer, though. As a business, the “25% reduction in production time on low volume, complex assemblies (as reported by AGCO)” could easily seem like a good idea if that’s what your business does. If a single line-workers “cost” is considered to be around 40K, that’s 40 headsets. That kind of efficiency gain, on paper, means that those 40 people with headsets could do the work of 50 people, so you spend 40k, “re-allocate” 10 workers, and you saved 360K USD.

That’s not really how the real world works, exactly, but it looks good on paper, especially if the paper is all you know, I guess. A much smaller improvement in efficiency would still be beneficial, mathematically, not accounting for things like replacements and upkeep.

I lost where I was going, I think. I like this sort of tech and hope to continue seeing more of it. It has some interesting implications for the future. I’m not buying it, though. VR and AR are cool but still too expensive for entertainment. Might make sense for some applications in some industries though.

Y’all take care, and remember that employees are people too, not just numbers in a spreadsheet.

2 thoughts on “Google Glass – Enterprise Edition 2

  1. Thanks for that link. I was one of the rare people who thought Google were really onto something with Google Glass. I could imagine a host of consumer-driven uses for it. I wear glasses for things like driving and sightseeing, for example, and i would love to have prescription glasses that also had the ability to record video, connect to the internet etc. I can think of a tone of things I’d use them for.

    I thought the huge outcry against the privacy issues had frightened Google away from the concept entirely. Good to see that’s not the case. Maybe we’ll get our $200 consumer version some day.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I wanted it to be, when it launched. I thought it was awesome and could think of so many little things it could be useful for. Unfortunately I wouldn’t be able to use it at work, where I would find it most useful, and I spend most of my time at home staring at some screen or another. I’ve even considered how difficult it would be to prototype a full-field unit to play with, but our transparent display tech doesn’t quite seem to be there yet.

      I think if it can rival a smart watch in both function and price then it may catch on. I eagerly await that day.


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