Monday, March 18, 2013

Enterprise Glass

Google Glass is looking like a great leap forward in ubiquitous computing. My previous article covering computing uses and form factors will probably still hold true until a step change with input devices occurs. Most of the excitement around Glass is in the consumer space with amazing looking first person videos of sky diving and the like. What I wanted to write about was the potential for glass in the enterprise.

Augmented Reality
According to Wikipedia: "Augmented reality (AR) is a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data."

AR is already making big inroads in the Business to Consumer (B2C) space especially for marketing/advertising scenarios. Not long back I was in Thailand and noticed a lot of people running around a Uniqlo store looking for butterflies. AR also has some potential in the Business to Enterprise (B2E) space using a mobile device to 'look' at equipment or similar. What really makes Glass a practical alternative is the hands free operation with the screen always where you need it. Makes me think of 'The Terminator' and obviously the military use similar technology in helmets for aircraft and such. In many enterprise environments safety glasses are already standard equipment so why not leverage them with powerful targeted information?

Glass in the Enterprise
Ok Sergei, Steve, Babak, and team here are some ideas that I can quickly come up with for Google Glass in the Enterprise, send me a set and I will happily come up with some more:

B2ETrainingNew staff are inducted to the office, OH&S policies, firescapes, bathrooms, etc using an interactive augmented reality application.
B2EHRCombined with facial recognition provide the ultimate 'whisper in the ear' to identify staff and associated metadata.
B2EMeetingsUse with IM /meeting sharing apps for a unique perspective on remote meetings. Connect to whiteboards and other equipment.
B2ELogisticsCombine with OCR/Scanning/RFID to aid with stock takes, bin counting, receipting, proof of delivery.
B2EAssetsIdentify assets, schematics, parts. Request/Enable remote assistance when repairing.
B2ERetailStaff can be instant experts on their own products. With overlayed pricing and detailed product information + onselling recommendations.
B2BRealestateInspect realestate with guided room checklists, record results. Provide virtual property tours.
B2BConferenceRecognition for attendees, AR product information, competition entry, location awareness, photography.
B2BEventsProvide targeted buyers (e.g. fashion) with glass and let them sit back and watch the show with AR provided product information.

As you can see there are a variety of opportunities to leverage and launch investments in Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud (SMAC). I'd love to hear your suggestions for more ideas for Glass in the Enterprise.

Google does it again
This is the second time in my life I can recall where I had an idea that Google launched as a new offering in an amazing way. The first was around 10 years ago I was making cartoons on my animated flash website MonkeyStyle and used a collection of satellite data to allow my character to zoom into his target. Not quite Google Maps but hey it was similar in concept! In the last couple of years I drafted a science fiction novel about Augmented Reality Contacts - now they are real!

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