Will Google Glass Work in the Office?
Think that Google Glass won’t go mainstream? Think again. With plans to introduce it to the consumer market in late 2014, this ‘techies-only’ gadget won’t stay like that for long. ‘Glass’ is the herald of a new era of mobile communications and its adoption by business professionals brings both benefits and concerns to the workplace.
What is Google Glass?
When Google Glass was introduced in early 2012, it was hailed as many different things: augmented reality goggles, wearable technology, heads-up display, and science fiction come to life.
Essentially, ‘Glass’ takes all the data and applications from devices such as PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones and puts it on a pair of spectacles. The glasses display data in the upper right hand corner of your line of vision so that you can see the screen without it completely obstructing your view. What does the embedded screen actually look like? According to Google, the 640 x 360 display is, "the equivalent of a 25-inch high definition screen from eight feet away".
With ‘Glass’, you can use voice commands to take videos and pictures, search the Internet, translate conversations, reply to messages, and connect with people—all instantly, hands-free and on-the-go.
Google’s Vision for Glass
Google plans to make ‘Glass’ more consumable by lowering its price point and updating its design to be more comfortable and stylish. The current cost is $1,500 but the rumors that say it could drop as low as $300 have been debunked. Either way, it will be updated to appeal to a wider audience, which leads us to our next section . . .
As a Business Owner or Manager, Why Should I Care About It?
‘Is the introduction of Google Glass a sign that the already-blurred line separating work devices and personal devices is becoming cloudier?’ Absolutely. In fact, with cloud phone systems you can now conduct business anytime, anywhere and from any device; but Google Glass will bring about an even bigger shift from traditional, on-site IT services to cloud-based solutions.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of having employees bring ‘Glass’ into the office.
- Great for international business – view real-time translations of conversations.
- More efficient communications – scroll through and reply to messages and emails instantly.
- Faster response to alerts – IT workers can see and respond to alerts with less disruption to their current work.
- Hands-free notifications – great for workers that use both hands, such as drivers and warehouse and factory workers.
- It will open more doors for visually impaired employees and other employees with disabilities.
- Privacy – with the built-in camera and video recorder, employees could take pictures or videos anytime without the knowledge of others.
- Security – more difficult to protect intellectual property and trade secrets that could easily be sold to competitors.
- HR Violations – Since the glasses run apps just like smartphones, the same issues arise, such as viewing inappropriate content at work.
Would you let employees bring Google Glasses to work? Let us know why by leaving a comment.
Photo courtesy of tedeytan via flickr