The futuristic – some would say geeky – Internet-connected headset has run into mixed reactions as a consumer product. But even though it still isn’t available for general sale, Google is aggressively promoting the device for both markets, with stylish frames for consumers and a new campaign to encourage developers to create Glass apps for the workplace.
Here are some we’ve seen recently:
Oilfield workers are using Glass to receive safety information on the job, according to a recent Google post, while basketball players for the Indiana Pacers are streaming video from courtside to some of their fans.
Meanwhile, a report in The Verge says the U.S. Air Force is testing the device for use on the battlefield. Not to be outdone, Glass Almanac has an item about a Las Vegas HVAC ( heating, ventilation and air conditioning) company that’s offering to let customers view a live video stream of work being done at their homes by repair personnel wearing Glass.
But we’re also seeing more consumer-type applications. Google tipped us today to a study at the University of Newcastle in the UK that’s looking at ways that patients with Parkinson’s might benefit from wearing Glass – using its motion sensors to track their symptoms and motor movements, and to provide reminders for taking medication.
Meanwhile, an Australian group says it’s trying Glass as a training device for new mothers who are learning to breastfeed: The moms are getting voice-activated instructions and other visual information; they also have the option of a secure video link to a counselor who can provide advice after viewing what the mother sees if there are problems with the baby feeding, according to this report from the Australian Breastfeeding Association.
Google’s encouraging many of these efforts because it wants to create a demand for Glass, of course. All this experimentation is reminiscent of the early trials for other new tech gadgets – the first iPads and the first Segways – when people also wondered how they might be used.
(Image of Patrick Jackson, a firefighter in Rocky Mount, N.C., via YouTube)