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5 things businesses need to know about Google Glass

Lauren Brousell | Oct. 4, 2013
Much of the talk surrounding Google Glass has focused on its consumer appeal. However, the device does have enterprise potential. CIOs should consider developing applications such as providing diagnostic advice to field service workers and mobile coupons to retail customers.

"If you're providing a service through Glass, it could be a selling point that you offer better encryption," says Shane Walker, an associate director at research firm, IHS. Businesses will also have to be weary of facial recognition because although Google has banned the technology from Glass, hackers have found a loophole.

If companies are seriously considering bringing Glass into the corporate environment, they will have to vet the devices just like they did with smartphones and tablets. "Start thinking about policy now and how you will handle those requests," McIntyre says. "It's another kind of BYOD policy."

4. The price is high but will level out. The current price of Google Glass, about $1,500, is about triple that of a smartphone. When Glass becomes commercially available in 2014, the price will have to come down to the level of a smartphone or tablet before companies will buy it.

"You'd have to understand what problem you're trying to solve that can't be solved by cheaper technologies," says Sam Chesterman, CIO of IPG Mediabrands and a member of the Glass Explorer program for beta-testers. Blum says for businesses, it will be about figuring out how much time and money will be saved by using Glass to determine the ROI.

5. There isn't an app for that. Glass comes standard with a few basic apps like search, messaging and video but doesn't have an app store yet. Still, many developers and businesses are creating their own apps, such as Fidelity Investments' Fidelity Market Monitor app to view stock quotes.

Chesterman agrees, saying companies should, "Pick a business problem you can solve with [Glass] and see if you have someone on your staff with Android development chops." McIntyre says to get out there before competitors do.

"Companies that want to be seen as leading edge are starting to work on apps for delivering content to consumers through Glass," McIntyre says. For now, Glass is well-suited for content creation across many industries such as media and marketing.


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