8 Google Glass business apps that are changing the world

Desktops

by Amy-jo Crowley| 15 August 2014

CBR presents eight real-life examples of the specs in action at work.

1. Warehouse management

E-fulfilment firm Active Ants, which ships products for 50 online stores, has developed an order-picking App for Google Glass, which it says has helped its staff pick up online orders faster.

The Netherlands-based company gave Google Glass, along with a custom-built stock app, to its warehouse workers in May. Initial results showed that it reduced error rates by 12% and an increased stock picking speed by 15%.

2. The Military

Soldiers on battlefields could also benefit from Google Glass, which would allow them to shoot without needing to be in a position to see their target.

Firearms company TrackingPoint has developed an app called Shotview for its smart rifle, which streams video in real-time from the Heads Up Display of the rifle to Glass.

This allows soldiers to aim and fire from around corners and behind walls at distances up to 1,200 yards away.

The Air Force is also testing Google Glass for possible battlefield applications.

3. Hospitality

Acme Hotel Company began offering Glass to guests as a complimentary loan during their stay In June, according to the New York Times. The gadget is being offered as an exclusive free amenity at the Chicago-based hotel.

San Francisco-based Stanford Court Hotel also started lending Glass to guests who book the 'Google Glass Explorer Package' in May. The deal includes two nights stay during which time guests will be given a tutorial on how to use the device. It also includes a guide on how to avoid appearing creepy while wearing it.

4. Airlines

Virgin Atlantic staff will soon be wearing Glass at Heathrow airport in efforts to speed up check-ins for business class passengers and improve customer service following a successful six week trial earlier this year.

Virgin said Glass will be used to update passengers on the latest flight information, weather and local events at their destination and translate foreign languages.

The technology could also be used to tell airline staff their passengers' dietary and refreshments requirements.

5. Museums

GuidiGO, a startup that provides apps for art and culture, says it is partnering with museums around the world after being one of five companies selected by Google for its Glass at Work programme in June.

The Paris and New York-based firm says it has been testing its Guido for Glass app at two museums in the US for the last few months successfully.

The app, which uses image recognition technology, allows glass wearers to identify paintings and other works of art at museums and galleries. It also includes voice commands, such as "start a tour" or "take a picture", narrated audio guidance, video, maps and indoor and outdoor navigation to guide users around the sites.

6. Journalism

Film makers in New York used Google Glass for a documentary to show what life is like the Caribbean islanders and Orthodox Hasidic Jews who live there.

Hannah Roodman told Journalism.co.uk the use of Glass provided a more subtle approach to film-making that helped to relax the subjects.

"I think Glass takes you to a place you can't go by yourself or with a regular camera," she said in January.

"For instance, as a film maker, I'm not going to get the same quality and personality of a church pastor as he addresses his congregation. I'm not going to be able to get that intimacy that Google Glass captures when he's up there on the altar."

It's also being used in the academic field. Robert Hernandez, a web journalism professor at the University of Southern California, has developed a 'Glass Journalism' course, which includes a module on how to create journalism content with wearables.

7. Police Force

Police in New York and Dubai have begun testing Google Glass this year to see if the wearable computer could be useful in law enforcement.

In February, a New York City law enforcement official told VentureBeat: "We signed up, got a few pairs of the Google glasses, and we're trying them out, seeing if they have any value in investigations, mostly for patrol purposes. We're looking at them, you know, seeing how they work."

The Dubai Police Smart Services Department are also testing two applications for traffic violations and helping authorities to identify wanted cars.

8. Medicine

Drchrono, a California-based startup, developed an app that it claims is the first "wearable health record" that allows doctors and health professionals to store and access patient data.

Developed in June, doctors can use the free app to record consultations with patients or in surgery, with videos and photos stored in the patient's electronic medical record or in Box, a cloud-based storage and collaboration service.

The firm, which produced the first mobile electronic health record for the iPad, said: "Our vision of making providers more mobile began with the announcement of the iPad in 2010, which eventually led to us creating the best mobile EHR on the market.

Since then, we've been striving to push the envelope with new technologies to optimise your ability to provide the best care available.

"Enter Google Glass. As a companion to the tablet, imagine being able to chart, take photos, and see your patient's vitals without lifting a finger... And that's just the beginning."

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