Google Glass: Will it hit the enterprise and when?

According to a Forrester survey, more than two-thirds of information workers have heard of Google Glass. But only 4 percent of those workers have seen Google Glass in person. That data may be enough to conduct a few corporate experiments.

Google Glass has enterprise implications, but companies need to tread carefully given the interest in the wearable device and the lack of hands-on knowledge and privacy concerns, according to a Forrester Research report.

According to a Forrester survey, more than two-thirds of information workers have heard of Google Glass. But only 4 percent of those workers have seen Google Glass in person and less than one percent have used the wearable. Another cut of the Forrester data shows that 50 percent of consumers see Google Glass as a privacy concern, but 43 percent would buy the device if the price is right.

I have Google Glass and frankly they stay on the sidelines and are typically used as a novelty item to show people. Google Glass and the concept of smart glasses remain works in progress on the consumer front. But as a corporate device, smart glasses have a bevy of use cases. Google Glass may not lead the enterprise charge, but has certainly popularized glasses as a wearable computing possibility.

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Forrester's take is that enterprise need to think about Google Glass and how they are used. At a high level, Forrester analyst J. P. Gownder has the following takeaways.

  • If Glass is worn by the customer and interacting with a company transparency of privacy rules will have to be clear. What's the trade-off between privacy and a coupon or promotion?

  • Recording of customers. Some businesses have banned Glass, but Forrester recommends a wait-and-see approach outside of Silicon Valley. Generally, rules around smartphone cameras — none allowed in locker rooms — can be extended to Glass.

  • Customer service workers with Glass. Enterprises will have to figure out what software tools enable customer service as well as what gets recorded. Does Glass help or hurt interactions?

Forrester recommends that enterprises experiment with Google Glass because they will eventually make it to corporations.

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