Google Glass EE on a Factory Near You

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About four years after the rambunctious release of the original Google Glass, Alphabet is announcing the second version that promises to be much more reliable and up to the expectation of its users. Most importantly however, the new Google Glass is aiming at a different market as it will abandon the skies, mountains and other places of excitement to equip factory workers and blue collar professionals instead. The reasons for this change include the fact that people who tried wearing the original gadget out in the world were literally bullied and in some cases even beaten out of bars because simply wearing these glasses was like holding a camera pointed to others and recording them. Many people didn’t feel comfortable wearing these glasses at public places, and with the gadget operating unreliably most of the time, there wasn’t any useful utilization scenario for them in the end really.

Enter version 2.0 based on the “Explorer Edition” modified by Alphabet to be specifically suitable for the workplace and now is called the “Enterprise Edition”. This version is much more reliable as long-term (2 years) tests in actual workplaces (DHL, General Electric, Opel, Fendt, Samsung, Volkswagen) have proven, and they have a set of really useful capabilities for people who perform technical work. Let’s look at what they bring in the workplace for the personnel as well as the human resources management.

  • They are protective. In most factories and production units, workers are required to wear eye protection gear anyway, so the Google Glass EE serves as a basic eye protection gadget.
  • They connect workers. Want to ask for some help on a specific technical matter but your nearest expert is far away or occupied with something else? No problem, as with Google Glass you can connect, ask the question, showcase the situation, and then receive detailed instructions on what to do while actually doing it.
  • Access knowledge. Even if no expert advice is needed, you can instantly access knowledge databases and other internet sources that hold the information you are looking for. Whether it is the maximum allowable wrenching torque for a specific bolt size, or the hardness of two materials that you are bringing together in an assembly, you can found out everything without leaving your spot or putting the tools down.
  • Employers insight. Yes, nobody likes to be monitored at all times, but it is understandable that employers may want to check what their workers are up to now and then. Some workers don’t follow the right quality and/or safety procedures, so employers can locate them easily. Knowing about that will make workers respect the safety rules, possibly leading to fewer workplace accidents.
  • Employee training. Experts can perform live demonstrations of maintenance or servicing sessions watched by everyone in the company.

Industrial units that participated in the testing sessions during the past two years report such a high added value from the use of Google Glass EE that they were reluctant to publish the numbers due to the fact that they seemed too unrealistic. This time, Google Glass is really bringing a revolution, only it’s on the industrial field and not on personal entertainment. It’s OK though as Alphabet found a way to actually put the clever idea of the Glass wearable into the realms of practical usability.

About Author

I’m an engineer with a passion for writing about new technologies and the ways they shape our world and amplify our very existence.