Google has launched a new program for its wearable computer, Glass, called Google at Work. It wants to hear from Glass app developers who are writing apps for businesses.
In a Google+ post, Google put out an all call:
“If you’re a developer who is creating software for U.S. based enterprises, we’d love your help in building the future of Glass at Work.”
Google didn’t specify what these developers would get by registering with Google. We reached out to Google and asked but Google didn’t offer details. A spokesperson sent us this statement:
“Today, there are thousands of consumers out there enjoying Glass in ways that are both practical and inspirational. At the same time, we’ve also seen many in the enterprise world — from pro sports teams, to hospitals — begin experimenting with Glass. We wanted to create a program that made it easier for them to get started on implementing Glass in their businesses.”
Businesses could actually be the biggest initial market for Glass, even more than consumers, market research analysts say. While Glass appeals to a certain set of consumers, a lot of people aren’t going to voluntarily wear a pair of glasses, even if the glasses are a cool, voice-controlled computer.
But using Glass for your job is something else. Hands-free access to the Internet, cameras, conferencing, phone calls, your calendar and apps that project images in front of your eyes would help lots of workers in jobs like technical repair, retail, health care and manufacturing.
Market research firm Gartner even boldy predicted that companies using Glass could save $US1 billion a year, mostly thanks to improved productivity.
A case in point is Schlumberger, a company that makes products for the oilfield industry. It partnered with Wearable Intelligence for a Glass app to increase safety and efficiency for their employees in the field, Google says.
Other companies who are experimenting with Glass include Virgin Airlines, Westpac Bank in Australia, Beth Israel Deaconess medical center, Forrester Research vice president J.P. Gownder says.
“While enterprises can’t easily buy Glass on the open market, Google has increased the Explorer program to roughly 10,000+ Explorers,” Gownder tells Business Insider. “And companies can afford the $US1,500 price tag more easily than consumers. So you see numerous trials of Glass among companies.”
Even though the Glass for Work program is a step in the right direction, Google will eventually need to do more, Gownder adds.
“Enterprises are looking for support in navigating regulatory impediments — for example, in healthcare, patients must currently sign tons of waivers for their doctors to use Glass in their treatment because the device isn’t HIPAA compliant,” he points out.
Plus, most enterprise security software can’t be used with Glass yet, though some mobile security vendors, such as IBM’s Fiberlink, do support Glass.
Still, Google is starting to step up and that’s good for everyone.
As Gownder points out, “Google is finally explicitly addressing the enterprise wearables opportunity because developers and enterprises demand it.”
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