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
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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.