The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

The Resurrection of Google Glass – for Business

Internet giant reintroduces wearable without a consumer focus.

After quietly retiring the beleaguered Google Glass because consumers balked about privacy concerns, Google is quietly bringing the product back – but solely aimed at business such as manufacturing and health care. A report in The Wall Street Journal noted that Google has been distributing the product to software developers for use in business settings.

While the old Google Glass was pitched as a smartwatch alternative, the latest version is focused on business applications. For example, workers operating machinery in the field have tested the tool to communicate with colleagues back at headquarters, according to the WSJ report.

A solid business case can be made for augmented reality products, such as Google Glass, in the workplace, as we wrote about last year. For example, it can allow workers to tap directly into order and inventory systems to update information.

While many distribution centers are already using similar technology through devices such as barcode scanners, augmented reality takes it to another level, says Trak Lord, who leads metaio’s marketing in the U.S. The company’s software drives augmented reality applications such as the one described above.

It can also improve navigation through a large warehouse, mapping out the most efficient route for picking multiple items. It can allow instant communication between parts of the business if there's an issue or an order change.

The product is being distributed though Google's Glass at Work program, but if these limited releases prove effective, a wider release may still come, according to WSJ.

Would you use Google Glass in your business? Why or why not? Share in the comments below!

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