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Google Glass: CIOs say no thanks, or at least, not yet

Google's wearable tech is quite a spectacle, and while they aren't quite ready to invest yet, CIOs are interested in potential business applications

Google Glass has generated considerable excitement among some early enthusiasts, ridicule from others, and created a major discussion around privacy. Not bad for a gadget which is only being used by a couple of thousand people worldwide.

Many are still trying to work out the implications of Google's wearable computing device, and enterprise tech chiefs remain interested in potential future business applications for Google Glass, but cautious in the short term.

When asked "Are you exploring benefits that Google Glass could offer to your business and customers?" the TechRepublic CIO Jury responded no by a margin of 11 to one – but many tech chiefs see potential for enterprise applications for the devices in later iterations of the technology.

Some caution is unsurprising – there are limited applications for the nascent technology (taking photos, posting them to Facebook and Twitter for example, or sending videos to Evernote) although a forthcoming Glass Developers Kit may help boost the number of options.

Still, many IT chiefs already have their eyes on potential applications future applications for the $1,500 devices.

Mike Roberts, IT director at The London Clinic said: "We need this type of technology to assist with advanced treatment where patients need visual cues like holding their breath during imaging," while Shaun Beighle, CIO at the International Republican Institute said: "I could definitely see some future uses for them as the technology evolves. The current iteration is a first step, in my opinion, but it’s not ready to plug into our business processes quite yet. I am very excited by the potential business applications though."

For Kevin Leypoldt, IS director at Structural Integrity Associates, applications for Google Glass for his business are still several iterations out: "When we are able to overlay GIS data, custom maps and 3D wireframes, etc  on top of the actual environment while one walks around (for inspections and identifications), then we can start to really investigate this technology. "

Lou Hablas, IT director at RZIM, said "From a personal perspective, I am pondering how Google Glass could work in the context of cycling and similar 'on the go' endeavors.  Cycling routes and the like could be laid out via Google Glass; and... some very cool product offerings and uses could be created/discovered."

But Brian Wells, associate CIO at Penn Medicine, described Google Glass as a "fun distraction until more apps and capabilities are added," while John Rogers, IT manager with Nor-Cal Products said he didn't currently see direct benefits for his company but added: "as things develop that may change over time. Personally I would like to test the waters and see how I could benefit from using Google Glass."

Jürgen Renfer, CIO at German insurance organisation Kommunale Unfallversicherung Bayern said in some businesses using Google Glass instead of standard monitors could help both with security and convenience, while Mike Wright, global head of technology at Man Group, said he will "wait and see how the legal and privacy issues develop."

Scott C Smith, director of technology at 32Ten Studios added that he hadn't considered any enterprise usability. "But since you ask, I might have to do more Google-ing about it..."

This week's CIO Jury is:

  • Richard Storey, head of IT, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust
  • Scott C Smith, director of technology, 32Ten Studios
  • Mike Roberts, IT director, The London Clinic
  • Brian Wells, associate CIO, Penn Medicine
  • John Gracyalny, VP IT, SafeAmerica Credit Union
  • Lou Hablas IT director, RZIM
  • Kevin Leypoldt IS director, Structural Integrity Associates
  • John F. Rogers, IT manager, Nor-Cal Products
  • Rohit Kilam, CTO, Masam Group
  • Dan Fiehn, Group head of IT, Markerstudy Group
  • Joel Robertson, director of IT, King College
  • Kelly Bodway VP of IT, Universal Lighting Technologies

Want to be part of TechRepublic’s CIO Jury and have your say on the hot issues for IT decision-makers? If you are a CIO, CTO, IT director or equivalent at a large or small company, working in the private sector or in government, and you want to join TechRepublic’s CIO Jury pool, or you know an IT chief who should, then get in contact.

Either click the Contact link below or email me, steve dot ranger at techrepublic dot com, and send your name, title, company, location, and email address.

About

Steve Ranger is the UK editor of TechRepublic, and has been writing about the impact of technology on people, business and culture for more than a decade. Before joining TechRepublic he was the editor of silicon.com.

9 comments
eaglewolf
eaglewolf

For any business environment, the potential for theft of proprietary data is astronomical, both written and any form of hardware design. Yes, you can do that with smartphones, too, but it's a bit more obvious and the data capability isn't as great. And then, having the immediate capability to capture data and upload it to social media .. with name tagging -> facial recognition and everything else .. what we see now as privacy issues will pale in comparison. I don't want somebody on the street capturing my image and, possibly conversation. From what I've read, the 'old' way of turning the device off and on .. making a physical motion to do that .. can be replaced with an app where all you have to do is 'wink' .. turn on, turn off. So a person saying they're not capturing data since they haven't touched anything on the glasses can't be trusted. The criminal uses are likewise astronomical. Stalking - adults and children, casing for later criminal activity, voyeurism .. unfortunately, criminals are a creative group. Already, some aspects of the social media scene are being used. So many have the compulsion to have GPS fully active so they can let their 'friends' know, every second of every day, exactly where they are. Multiple give-away apps depend on GPS so they can push coupons and other advertising to you as you pass near their place of business. There is documentation of assaults that have happend where the person created a fake ID on a dating site .. logged in and noted on the map the GPS location of their victim. And attacked them. The glass needs to be totally banned if you're in a vehicle. These issues are being looked at, but I note Google is advancing the release date - I imagine in the hope that by the time any laws or restrictions get put on the books, there will be too many units 'on the street' for any enforcement. Social media and what supports it has gotten totally out of hand.

joshua_keefer
joshua_keefer

This device has NO use in the enterprise. This should be kept in the hands of consumers, much like the rest of googles line of goods. If a CIO is on board for google glass for their enterprise, that person should count down the days until their org fails. If you are a CIO and you are pouring effort, time, and possibly money into rolling out google glass, you seriously need to rethink your life.

adornoe
adornoe

they would propose the use of Glass in highly visible TV shows, such as the Amazing race, and in Survivor. Survivor would have to be limited to what people can see in the beaches and jungles where they're situated, but, it could be used to show the interactions between players, and the eye-witness view in challenges. The Amazing race would not have the problems that Survivor competitors would encounter, so, it might be very interesting to see the world from the view of the Amazing race competitors. Of course, Glass would not be worn during the most private of moments for competitors. It could also be very interesting to use Glass at concerts, where an entertainer could allow the view from his/her vantage point, shown on a large screen on stage. Many possibilities and opportunities for Google to demo and advertise this Glass thing.

j357757
j357757

Our company still has a policy that prohibits cameras on-premises, however Smart Phones are allowed. Does anybody have a Smart Phone without a camera? I view the problem not as 'will CIO's use Google Glasses for business' as much as 'Will CIO's be able to catch up to technology to be able to make that decision before they are replaced by the next big thing'.

jsargent
jsargent

You are absolutely right and I'm surpised that the media and law makers haven't jumped on this from the concept stage of google glass. Yet another example where things will be too late to fix. In some countries it is now illegal to operate a camera or other recording device that doesn't have a blinking light on it indicating that the device is recording or turned on. If the device is encapsulated in potting compound (resin block) then they can make sure that a similar law for wearable devices is always applied. Ps. someone who wants to do illegal things will always find a way such as pervs who have hidden cameras, someone recording ATM pin numbers or fascists and bullies recording your conversations with other people.

guzmany2003
guzmany2003

Someone also told me years ago the mobile phone had no place in the enterprise, how that changed! Even though the technology is new, and the applications within the enterprise yet to be identified, any CIO should at least investigate its use, within the security parameters of the organization of course

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

If it wasn't so real. Col

aidemzo_adanac
aidemzo_adanac

No, I don't have a phone without a camera, even a dumb one, before smart phones took over. No, CIO's will not be able to catch up with technology before the next device is out, that's your job, to create a compelling statement and sell them on the financial advantages.