Posted By Simon Montford on Nov 8, 2014
Of course Glass isn't the only show in town. Other producers of connected facial appendages include: Optinvent, Golden-i, Vuzix, Metra, Epson, GlassUp, ChipSip, Atheer Labs, Kopin and suspects likely to jump on the band wagon soon include Microsoft and Samsung.
I concede that Glass is a technological marvel, a beautifully flawed design masterpiece, and a giant leap of innovation when compared to the first generation of mobile device that had to be lugged, rather than worn. This did not, however, stop early adopters of the Reagan era attaching them to their faces 24/7. In other words nothing has really changed. "Explorers" aka "Glassholdes" are being derided today just as 'Yuppies' were in the 1980s.
Apart from the obvious privacy concerns, many people who have a beef with Glass find it difficult to articulate what exactly it is that annoys and creeps them out so much. After all Glass is just a pair of titanium specs with a camera. No big deal. Everyone's cool with smartphones and other forms of wearable devices so what is it about Glass that get's our goat?
Perhaps one of Glass's design faults is that the screen acts as a barrier that prevents uninterrupted eye-to-eye contact, which is a vital aspect of rapport building. Anything that disrupts the flow of communication, no matter how minor, will have a negative impact because humans are hyper sensitive to the smallest non-verbal cues.
In addition to its physical appearance, Glass doesn't do much better when it comes to UX. It behaves like a small child with ADHD; constantly trying to grab the owner's attention - very distracting for the user and extremely annoying to whoever the Explorer is with. Annoyance is not the only emotion being manifested by Glass.The number of cases where Explorers have been verbally abused and even physically attacked is increasing. In an attempt to stem hostility within the populous, Google responded by releasing a list of guidelines, but in my humble opinion the search giant is wasting its time. Instead of trying to change society, Google should change the product by making it less conspicuous or better still, invisible.
While they figure out how to fix the product, the company should nudge consumers in the direction of Android Wear. Most devices that run the latest version have similar functionality to Glass plus devices that run on Android Wear are considerably cheaper!
I'd like to start with the following disclaimer. All the views expressed from here on in are all mine and be warned, if you're a fan of Google Glass I'm not going to pull any punches. So I'd like to start right off the bat by saying I think people who wear Glass look ridiculous! There I've said it.
Glass, in its current guise, is far better suited to industry. This is because, if you place Glass in an industrial context it suddenly becomes a very different animal. Note 'industrial' not 'office' because offices are highly social environments, so sporting Glass in the board room will basically raise the same issues as wearing it in a bar or restaurant.
If you place Glass in an 'anti-social' environment it works beautifully! By 'anti-social', I mean situations where people are not in the mood for small talk. Examples include physically demanding, mission-critical and life-threatening situations like open heart surgery, operation of heavy machinery, combat, and emergency response. In these contexts employees simply don't care if they or their colleagues look like cyborgs. All they care about is safety and efficiency. Verticals that probably have the most to gain from Glass are medical, energy, manufacturing, warehousing and logistics, security, retail, entertainment, and defence.
A specific area where I can see Glass becoming invaluable, as a support tool, is assistance for personnel who work alone or within small teams in remote, hostile or hazardous environments. Enabling employees to be "connected" via augmented reality or heads-up display would provide field operators with an invaluable link to not just data but other human beings.
Ask anyone who has operated in remote, life-threatening environments and they will tell you that any gadget that can connect them with a support team back at base, is worth it's weight in gold (or titanium). Suddenly that gadget's appearance, no matter how or where it is worn, becomes almost irrelevant.
Examples of companies that are already helping industry realize Glass's true potential are: SAP and Vuzix (augmented reality for warehouse pickers). Aero Glass (augmented reality for General Aviation pilots). Japan Airlines, EasyJet, Honeywell, Virgin Atlantic (Commercial Aviation MRO and customer services), Wearable Intelligence (platform that facilitates collaboration among medical professionals, the company is also working with Schlumberger to make pipeline inspections more efficient). Augmedix (real-time access to patient medical records) and CrowdOptic, APX Labs and Pristine.
By utilizing Glass, industry will be able to improve and save the lives of hard-working heroes around the world and increase productivity, which could potentially add billions to the global economy. Never has there surely ever been such a noble endeavor although I resign myself to the fact that douchebags will continue for use Glass for less noble causes such as covertly filming hotties at bars. C'est la vie.
One last thing, I'd be very grateful if any Glass fans with a grudge could kindly direct all hate mail towards my Twitter account instead of hacking into my personal email - I thank you (@simonmontford #HerosNotGlassholes).
Subscribe to our newsletter and you’ll receive product updates as well as the latest IOT news delivered straight to your inbox.
“google glass” is copyright © 2014 CyberHades via flickr made available under an Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 license: http://bit.ly/1p15lHm. Image copyright 2014 Wearable Intelligence Inc: http://wearableintelligence.com/
“Google Glass Design” is copyright © 2014 Prepayasyougo via flickr made available under an Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 license: http://bit.ly/1wreZE3
© Simon Montford (WEB3IOT), 2014-2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Simon Montford and WEB3IOT with appropriate and specific direction to the original content at web3iot.com.