By Cortney Mentzos
Published January 17, 2017
The Google Glasses are an optical head mounted display that the purchaser wears like a pair of eyeglasses, which allows the wearer/viewer to broadcast whatever they are seeing through their eyes. While consumers can use it as a hands-free smartphone, which allows them to obtain the Internet, camera, maps, calendar and other apps by using the voice command, business may also use Google Glasses to enhance their work life. Professionals within Human Resources Departments can use the wearable technology for presentations, training and development, collaboration, communication, time management and much more. Technology has been growing substantially over the years and integrating the use of smart glasses into the workplace may just be a wise move to stay relevant and to enhance the quality of work done. The description will highlight some of the major functions of the Google Glasses.
Figure 1. A Google Glass user using voice command and touchpad to speak with multiple people through Google Hangout.
One of the major selling points of the Google Glasses is the hands-free capability, meaning that the wearer can use their voice to tell the glasses what they would like to happen. The Google Glasses Development Website states that the voice command has three minor functions. First off is the main voice commands, which are all the basic commands the user would give to the Google Glasses like, add calendar events, start recording, send a message and make a call. Second is the contextual voice commands, which allows the users to carry out actions from activities. The user has to build their own commands using the Android menu that came with the glasses. An example would be that say a professional within Human Resources wanted their documents to stop rotating, they would create their own voice command that allows that to happen. Lastly is the speech recognition in the Google Glasses that allows what the wearer is saying to be transcribed after they are done speaking. The speech recognition also involves the user to build their personalized speech recognition to be transcribed (Google Glasses Development Website, Inputs and Sensors). The hands-free function of the glasses makes this wearable device efficient for companies. Creating more ways to save time is always something companies should strive for.
The wearer of the Google Glasses can use the voice command to start recording a video. They press the camera button, like they would for taking a picture and then say, “Ok glass, record a video” and it’s that easy (Google Support, Voice Actions). When the wearer starts recording they are able to see what they are recording and how much time they have left. All of the videos are 10 seconds long but the wearer is able to extend the video by pressing the camera button again or tapping the touchpad. Once the touchpad is hit they have the option to extend the video or to stop it all together. If the user wants to see the videos that have been taken throughout the day they push forward on the touchpad and are brought to an area that bundles all the videos and pictures taken that day. Google Glasses also has the option to upload the videos onto the Auto Backup album when synced to Wi-Fi (Google Support, Video).
Figure 2. Cards on Google Glass show a bent edge in the right hand corner to indicate additional information.
Cards on Google Glasses are the way the user mainly guides themselves around the technology. Similar to a smartphone when the user swipes from page to page to find the apps they want, the wearer of the Google Glasses swipes their cards to find what they want. There are cards that are always in the main view like calendars and the weather and then cards that the wearer can put in the main view themselves if they need them at a certain time. The second option is called live cards and can be really useful within the workplace. The live cards option is used when the user has ongoing activities that they need to jump in and out of often, like checking the status of a team document. The user can also create their own cards if needed and customize them to their liking (Google Glass Development Website, Live Cards). The cards only show what the user wants them to show unless they use the stack indicator, which is a tiny fold in the upper right hand corner that lets the viewer know that there is more information within the card (Google Glass Development Website, Card Design).
Software & Apps
The Google Glasses have the capability of letting others develop software for the glasses. On the Google Glass Development Website it has a section called, “Glass at Work”, which entails different companies/labs who have created their own software to help make life at work easier. One of the software’s developed is Google Glass Streaming created by Interapt, who are a technology company who create apps for wearables, smartphones, etc. The software helps with being able to collaborate in real time so international clients/coworkers don’t need to physically be there to see what is going on (interapt.com, solutions).
Augmate, the leading device management solution for wearable technology (Augmate.com, Home), created another kind of software. In this case if used for Google Glasses, it would allow the managers within the Human Resources Departments to manage each pair of Google Glasses, permitting them to command and control the wearable devices. The feature could be seen as a privacy concern, but the glasses are to be used at work so the management should only find work related topics on the glasses. One engaging feature is the ability to be able to send system-wide messages and notifications to all the devices that the manager would be managing. If there was an important board meeting or international/local meetings the manager would be able to share with everyone on the team or in the department what happened so everyone is in the loop. The last software example that could be used within a Human Resources department is called WatchMeTalk. It allows the hearing impaired to understand what someone else is saying by hearing what the person is saying and transcribing that into text on the wearers glasses. The WatchMeTalk app could be a great way to improve productivity within the department by creating an easy way to communicate.
Figure 3. Picture of Google Glass showing a prism that goes over the right eye to engage with display.
There are many materials that go into creating the final product. The Google Glasses have a high-resolution display. They use a prism that goes over the wearer’s right eye that uses a mirror and beam splitter to render the image as a display. Google says that the high-resolution display is equal to a 25 inch high-definition screen from eight feet away. The glasses come with a nosepad that is adjustable and two extra pads in two different sizes. The frames are able to fit any type of face. The storage on the glasses is about 12 GB but the user can fit more onto the device by simultaneously using Google Cloud storage. The glasses come with a charger and it is said that the battery lasts for one day of usage (Google Support, Tech Specs).
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
Figure 4. An example of augmented reality. Images are integrated mid-air in the real world and shown in 3D.
The Google Glasses have the option of augmented reality and virtual reality. Namrata Pathkar and Joshi Neha wrote an article called “Google Glasses: Project Glass” from the International Journal of Application or Innovation in Engineering & Management and say that augmented reality layers computer-generated images on top of what the user is already seeing, blending in digital parts with the real world. It uses 3D images, which makes it easier on the user to integrate what they are seeing. Virtual reality is similar to augmented reality but it doesn’t blend in with the real world. It also uses computer-generated imagery, in this case a simulation, to immerse the user into an environment or situation (Pathkar & Joshi, 31 &32). These types of realities can be helpful when training employees. Being able to become immersed in a simulation of things experienced while at work can benefit employees in the future when they encounter that type of work.
Google Glasses are a great tool for businesses when it comes to things like communication, management, training and time management. Basic functions like video recording, voice command, cards and using the apps created for Google Glasses are not only great ways to integrate technology into your company but can save time and increase productivity when using the glasses. The glasses are currently unavailable for consumers or businesses to use but Google still supports the companies that use Google Glasses.
“Card Design.” Google Developers. https://developers.google.com/glass/develop/gdk/card-design. Accessed 12 October 2016.
“Enterprise Wearables Environment Management Platform.” Augmate. http://www.augmate.com. Accessed 12 October 2016.
“Live Cards” Google. https://developers.google.com/glass/develop/gdk/live-cards. Accessed 12 October 2016.
Pathkar, Namrata, and Neha Joshi. “Google Glasses: Project Glass” International Journal of Application or Innovation in Engineering & Management. 3.10(2014): 31-35. Web.
“Solutions Put Wearables to Work.” Interapt. http://interapt.com/solutions/wearables. Accessed 12 October 2016
“Tech Specs” Google. https://support.google.com/glass/answer/3064128?hl=en. Accessed 12 October 2016
“Videos” Google. https://support.google.com/glass/answer/3079641?hl=en-GB. Accessed 12 October 2016
“Voice Actions” Google. https://support.google.com/glass/answer/4353636?hl=en-GB. Accessed 12 October 2016
“Voice Input” Google. https://developers.google.com/glass/develop/gdk/voice. Accessed 12 October 2016