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8 ways to use Google Glass on the job

James A. Martin | Jan. 23, 2014
Google Glass isn't without its limitations -- not to mention privacy concerns -- but Google Glass 'Explorers' are finding many ways to use the device to work smarter and faster. The key to more widespread adoption, though, will be seamless integration into existing technology workflows.

8. Troubleshooting a Website From a Distance
Cohen says the capability to share visual information immediately can help solve tech issues. If he encounters a bug or other technical glitch on his company's website, the Los Angeles-based Cohen can say, "OK, Glass, take a picture," and share a photo of his computer screen with his two Web developers in Virginia. The real-time sharing lets his Web developers understand the issue better and react immediately, Cohen says.

Google Glass Doesn't Come Without Workplace Drawbacks
Advantages aside, Google Glass raises significant safety, security and privacy issues that can affect users both on and off the job. Not surprisingly, the still-in-development technology has other drawbacks for those using them in their work.

The built-in battery is notorious among Explorers for its short life, especially when video is involved. "With moderate use, the battery will only have to be charged once or twice a day, allowing you to use GPS, text messaging and occasional photos," Abramson says. "But if you're recording or watching video, the battery will die in less than an hour."

Cohen bemoans the inability to bulk delete multiple cards. (Glass displays information, such as text messages, as individual cards.) Cohen can receive as many as 600 business emails per day, and not being able to tell Glass, "wipe all email cards from today," means that Cohen can't access any other information on his Glass without scrolling all those emails.

But the biggest limitation is the lack of Google Glass apps, most of which are limited in their features, McGee notes. Twitter won't take a Tweet received on Glass and send it via email, he says, nor can headlines received over RSS get sent in an email. Meanwhile, the new, unofficial WordPress app seems to be geared toward photoblogging. "I'd like a WordPress app that would let me speak a headline, speak some text and then send that to my WordPress install," MeGee says.

Future Uses of Google Glass on the Job
Though Glass already helps workers in a variety of occupations, the technology could be of particular importance to specialized fields.

For example, Glass could be used to improve an airline's baggage handling process, says Stephen Fluin, chief strategy and innovation officer for MentorMate. Most bag lines have one person scanning bags, to verify their destination and other information, and another physically moving bags. Smaller lines use one person to both tasks, picking up and putting down a scanner repeatedly. Using technology such as Glass, Fluin says, a single baggage handler could scan bags with both hands free to move the bags.

Glass Explorer Chuck Webster says third-party apps from developers in industries such as healthcare, education, security and system repair will really make Glass valuable to workers. He points to the advantage of surgeons using Glass to confer with experts during surgery, adding that early responders could also wear Glass to receive "just-in-time clinical decision support."


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