Google, in an effort to further the mainstreaming of its wearable Glass device, has turned to a sector that could provide a sizable, somewhat “captive” audience—the workplace.
Google’s new “Glass at Work” program allows employers to work with Google’s development team to customize Google Glass according to their specific needs. As Google explains, “In the last year we’ve seen our Explorers use Glass in really inspiring and practical day-to-day ways. Something we’ve also noticed recently and are very excited about is how Explorers are using Glass to drive their businesses forward.”
Google cites several examples of companies already putting the wearables to use with customized features for work-specific situations. The Washington Capitals “gamed” Google Glass in collaboration with APX Labs for a multi-layered fan experience that included multiple camera angles, instant replay and real-time stats. Schlumberger, an oilfield services company, utilized Glass software from Wearable Intelligence to create hands-free data displays for workers out in the field.
Glass at Work seeks to expand the reach of the device further into workplaces, opening the door to other companies to follow the Capitals and Schlumberger—if you’ve been accepted into Google’s Explorer program and paid the $1,500 fee. Whether Glass at Work opens its net wider remains to be seen.
But it would be in Google’s interest to keep that net as wide as possible. While it’s been noted that Google Glass has been put to use recently as a reporter’s tool for news outlets, the wearable’s larger acceptance in businesses—as well as, for that matter, simply on the street—is still up for debate.
Integrating Google Glass into boardroom conferences, meet-and-greets, maintaining stock inventory and so on is a crucial part of not only the device’s mainstream success, but possibly that of other wearables as well. Though only time will tell how successful of a program this is, it’s clear that Google is paying close attention to how many companies sign up for Glass at Work – and how companies leverage the newly available resources.