Google Glass in suspended animation: But will it see new life at the workplace?

Google has announced that it's time for Glass to grow out of its baby steps, put on their big kid shoes and learn how to run.

Pranjal Kshirsagar January 19, 2015 15:29:08 IST
Google Glass in suspended animation: But will it see new life at the workplace?

If Google Glass could sing, it would be singing Pink Floyd's Learning to Fly today. Google has announced that it's time for Glass to grow out of its baby steps and put on their big kid shoes.

In other words, Google will stop selling its much hyped head-mounted computer to consumers today and will come back with the new version 'when they are ready'. This announcement comes as a part of a bigger transition they speak of – moving out of Google X research lab into a stand-alone unit. According to reports, the unit will be led by Ivy Ross, an executive and designer who was announced as head of Glass last year. Ross and her team will report to Tony Fadell, who heads Nest Labs, which was acquired by Google last year.

Google Glass in suspended animation But will it see new life at the workplace

Google co-founder Sergey Brin in this file photo with his Google Glass. AP


Google Glass has seen much adulation but also abuse and has been received with much cheer as well as contempt by users all over the world. But will it come back meaner and mightier, with sharper teeth to cut into the enterprise space?

Google Glass has been synonymous with wearables in the enterprise domain and has already seen many success stories. A construction project manager used Google Glass to improve safety and efficiency, an art teacher used Google Glass to help teach her online class, a firefighter is building an app to help firefighters navigate dangerous situations and an oilfield services company that partnered with Wearable Intelligence to create checklists for technicians in the U.S. and overseas. Companies like Virgin Atlantic also used Google Glass with customer service agents, resulting in several positive reviews from passengers. And the possibilities for business apps on the Glass are endless. From remote selling to personal shopping applications of Google Glass extend as far as the eye can see, and as deeply as the mind can dream.

Greyhound Research too believes that while Google Glass was not able to gain much traction as a wearable device in the consumer segment, its potential as a business device has strengthened with the roll out of ‘Glass at Work’ initiative by the company last year. “The device is already being used for Policing services in the city of Dubai as well as in the healthcare vertical by physicians across the globe to access critical patient information in real time. It is also slowly becoming more common in sports as teams and broadcasters worldwide are exploring options to bring fans closer to the action.

Augmented Reality applications on the glass can also prove extremely helpful for marketers in tracking the eye movements of the consumers for relevant advertising on the go,” says Sanchit Vir Gogia, Chief Analyst and Group CEO, Greyhound Research.

Gogia explains that with Augmedix, the healthcare app developer for Google Glass receiving a series A funding of $16 million this month, more applications for the device in the healthcare segment are expected to come up this year, cementing the device’s position in the enterprise market. An Indian surgeon, based out of Chennai recently carried out two operations wearing Glass and allowed the world to see the procedure. With more healthcare apps in place, a new and improved Glass will surely be lapped up by the medical and paramedical forces.

“Though the device is being discontinued by Google as it aims to come up with a more refined version of it for consumers, Greyhound Research believes that the device will continue to gain popularity in verticals including healthcare, law enforcement, Augmented Reality, Navigation, sports etc. with the existing application developers in place,” Gogia concludes.

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