Potential benefits of Google Glass in the workplace

Potential benefits of Google Glass in the workplace

Summary: What if your company required every employee to wear Google Glass? Some of the potential applications could include quality and safety checks, security, and note-taking.


So Google Glass is finally in the hands of the public and we're pounded daily with commentary about how it's the death of privacy, looks lame, and is rife with potential exploits.

All possibly true.

What if your company required every employee to wear Google Glass?

There has not been much discussion of what Google Glass may bring to the workplace. What if the company you worked for required everyone to wear Google Glass? The immediate reaction for many is: "I would quit, that is an outrage!" 

Let's put outrage aside and think about what some of the purposes might be:

Quality Check - Say you're a tired, overworked factory worker in China making the iPhone 7g3D. At some point your arms are going to waiver, your hands won't place the screw in the right place, and that little iPhone destined for California will be defective. If the factory line worker is wearing Google Glass (with video enabled and recording nonstop) the management will know when employee exhaustion limits are being reached, which units are defective, and what other factors are affecting the employee's job on the line.

Efficiency Check – Similar to the scenario above; as management peers through the virtual vision of their employees' Google Glass, they might notice that it is taking 10 hand movements to perform a task when it only requires three hand movements to get it done. Time for employee training to cut down on excess movements! (Apply it to other less physical operations too).

Safety Check – humor aside, this could be a critical application for Google Glass in the workplace. Places like construction sites (and restaurants) require stringent safety regulations as well as hygiene regulations. These are no-compromise scenarios where utilizing Google Glass helps ensure safety as well as can be used for audit purposes.

Security Check – Imagine if each policeman wore Google Glass. If they were in potential security situations the recordings would be great for analysts to watch and it's also a backup measure if they're accused of abuse or wrongdoing.

Ultimate Note-Taking – Zone out during your meetings. Google Glass records the audio and video of what people are drawing on the whiteboard. Later on have audio-to-text kick in and voila, instant notes mapped to a timeline of the visuals of the meeting.

Overall Monitoring – Perhaps the most useful and terrifying of all. Nonstop monitoring of what employees are up to at work. Everyone becomes a camera. Imagine a scenario where your IT department manages the Google Glasses that you are wearing.

How soon do you think we will see Google Glass showing up in the workplace? What workplace scenarios does it enable?

Topics: IT Policies, Emerging Tech, Google


Howard spent 14 years in the tech industry working as a programmer, evangelist, and community manager for Microsoft. In 2009, he had lived his "dream" of middle-management long enough and opened a Japanese restaurant called Standing Sushi Bar. Trading in stock grants and software licenses for raw fish and cash, he enjoys mixing his passion for technology into the daily hustle of small business.

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  • Let's look at some of these points...

    #1: I am sure employee moral is going to go through the roof now that management can watch every little move every employee does.

    #2: So now you have a monitor for every worker in order to improve performance and efficiency?

    #3: This brings nothing new to the table that does not already exist in the market place so Google Glass is dead in this area.

    #4: This brings very little new to the table that is not already done in the market place so Google Glass is mostly dead in this area.

    #5: Note taking? I could see some advantage here but with the sensitive nature of many meetings in business, can you imagine the heyday for lawyers when it comes to discovery on lawsuits. From emails to now, every single recorded discussion in a building that happens in the hallway. WOW!!!

    There is so much of Google Glass that is simply poorly thought out and tech that is not quite ready yet. It is not new tech though it is novel in some ways. It is not an easy to use tech and has battery life issues that greatly limit its full time use. Give it another 5-8 years and check back.
    • And Google Then Has Eyes and Ears

      inside any business that does not ban the use of Google Glass.

      Be careful in who you allow to use your Glass.

      It will be interesting to see how many people will buy a product with this single clause.

      If you resell, rent, lease, transfer, or give your device to any other person without Google’s authorization, Google reserves the right to deactivate the Device, and neither you nor the unauthorized person using the Device will be entitled to any refund, product support, or product warranty.

      This is INSANE!!!!!

      These Glass services may be developed by Google or third parties, and may have the ability to read and modify your private data.

      Whenever Google says MAY

      How about this? You will need to read the Wallet terms as well.

      Google may in its sole discretion allow you to order a Device using a payment method other than Google Wallet.

      This is likely so they know EXACTLY what they need to know about you. They can then use the information obtained from Wallet and cross reference it all other personal information they keep FOREVER.

      Mighty big of them to allow you to pay cash. Just kidding, that will never be allowed. How About :

      If Google accepts your order, you will be required to pick up the Device in person, on a date and at a U.S. location specified by Google, unless otherwise agreed by Google.
      • Previous was myseriously submitted

        When the post was submitted I was typing
        Whenever Google says MAY, they mean you can bet your sweet ass we ARE going to do it.

        "including", "which includes" are other deceptive terms often used. Their interpretation is the the list of things we can dream to do to you is limitless.

        Remember you heard it here first. Google is Hell bent on Global Domination. These Terms of Service are just one of many tests to come as to who can be walked all over with no resistance.

        Think about it. What do nerds fantasize about? Global Domination. Case in point. Google took down one of the most powerful people in the World, CIA Director David Petraeus. Why? For Google Giggles? Hint: It has to do with the Pentagon and Android.

        Why did Google buy Motorola Mobility? Patents? They may want you to believe that. They may need Motorola.

        On May 22, 2012 Motorola announced the acquisition by Google was closed. In the same announcement Google's VP of American Operations was appointed CEO and announced Regina Dugan as Sr. VP of Advanced Technology & Projects. Why was Regina Dugan's hiring of any significance”

        Have you ever heard of DARPA? Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency which reports directly to the Department of Defense and is responsible for DoD communications networking. Regina Dugan was the Director of DARPA when she was hired by Google.

        Yeah, I'm the crazy one. I will admit it is the other (as in not mine) voice in my head that tells me to write these things. The same voices that told me out of the clear blue something I would NEVER have done otherwise, to view deleted phone call records which lead to the discovery my wife was having an affair. My hallucinations are getting more vivid and the voice getting clearer.

        Opps, got off on a tangent, back to Glass ToS

        Do not forget Google has a clause where if you agree to the Terms of any product or service you are bound to the terms of all products and services. Buy Google Glass and all these ludicrous terms apply to you and all Google products and services you use.

        Because they will require you to use Google Wallet, I am betting there is a very well hidden term in Wallet that when combined with a Glass Term you are totally screwed if it is possible to screw you worse than with just the Glass terms.

        These guys are OUT OF CONTROL!!!!

        Is there anyone else on the planet that thinks they could get away with shoving these terms down the customer's throat?????

        When Google has another diabolical idea, they can download any spyware they please. Even though they already specified they can "read and modify your private data."

        You agree that such updates will be automatically requested, downloaded, and installed without further notice to you.

        From time to time, Google may discover a Glass service that violates Google developer terms or other legal agreements, laws, regulations or policies...
        ...You agree that Google may remotely disable or remove any such Glass service from user systems in its sole discretion.

        If you install or enable any software or services on the Device through any means other than the MyGlass interface or otherwise authorized by Google, or make unauthorized alterations to the Glass software or Glass services: (i) you will no longer be eligible to receive any customer or technical support from Google for your Device, and (ii) the limited product warranty is void and no longer applies to your Device.

        (iii)Glass may self destruct just for Google's Giggles.

        You acknowledge and agree that Google will determine and use your location, that photos and videos taken on your Device will be added to your Google+ Instant Upload album, and that your Device will display information sent to devices that are synced with it (such as text messages). Please refer to our Google Privacy Policy for more information on how Google collects, uses and shares the information we receive from you.

        So much for:
        "Use of certain Device features may require that you open a Google account"

        "Certain features"? As in power switch?

        "May". Hilarious.

        In short the Privacy says they can collect and use whatever how ever. Not just personal information but SENSITIVE personal information as well.

        This limited warranty applies only to hardware components and Google does not provide any warranty for damage caused by normal wear and tear, accidents, misuse (including failure to follow product documentation and plugging the device or other included parts into the wrong type of port), neglect, disassembly, alterations and external causes such as but not limited to extreme thermal or environmental conditions (including but not limited to moisture and heavy dust), installation or enabling of unauthorized software or services, unauthorized alterations to the Glass software or Glass services, unauthorized resale, transfer, lease, rental, gift, or commercial use. This limited warranty does not guarantee that used of the Device will be uninterrupted or error free

        Can no one take responsibility for anything any more?? I am not surprised they do not use the term Act of God. These guys think they ARE God. God = Google, Google = God, interchangeable terms.
        • Release version

          Have you seen the T&C's for the public release version or are you just working of the old-news that is the developer kit? I repeat DEVELOPER KIT. NDA's and copy-stamps are nothing new in restricted release circles. Anyone with the slightest intelligence can see why developer kit has usage restrictions. Are you that stupid or just refuse to accept what is common practice in many areas? You think apple signed off pre-release ipads for sale on ebay or giving to relatives? Or do you think they were given to testers/reviewers under pain of death? Save some of the wasted time writing pages of irrelevant tosh on thinking about the subject you're commenting on. Then again, try reading NEWS, google have already said that you can do whatever you like with the public release versions.
          Little Old Man
          • Not Stupid, Crazy

            Maybe you missed the part about world domination.
            Or the voices in my head telling me to write it.
            Or My hallucinations are getting more vivid and the voice getting clearer.

            The world domination part is true.
          • no...

            That was just the hallucinations..
      • Glass?

        A solution in search of a problem.
        • One could say the same for iPad

          @radu.m - one could say the same thing for the iPad, yet it basically spawned the tablet market.
    • and expenses for enterprise?

      how much does the enteprises needs to spend for these advantages?
      a smart phone and a google glass worth close to 2000$.
      • What about people who already wear glasses?

        It's expensive enough getting prescription sunglasses. Those clip on glasses get thumbs down for me. Anyway I can't imagine that they will be the right shape or technology to work with real glasses. So all us who already need visual enhancement are excluded from this idea.

        Am I wrong?
        • Prescription glasses

          @Yobin - that's a good point. I'd speculate that eventually Google would offer some type of clip-on functionality or even partner up with eye doctors to create prescription-lens Google Glass devices.
          • Safety Glass?

            Are the glasses ANSI Z87.1 rated? That would rule them out in most of your scenerios if they're not.
            William Farrel
      • Price

        @santoshoo47 - apparently Google Glass is made with off-the-shelf (cheap) components so that once it begins selling to the mass public they could do so at a low price.
  • Seriously???

    This must be the dumbest made up list of usages of Google Glass I have read so far.

    Lets ad another one .... You are a worker at McGerKing who is taking a dump. Google glass will record that you didn't clean your hands after you were done and then proceeded to play with the pink blob patties without globs.
  • Seriously???

    This must be the dumbest made up list of usages of Google Glass I have read so far.

    Lets ad another one .... You are a worker at McGerKing who is taking a dump. Google glass will record that you didn't clean your hands after you were done and then proceeded to play with the pink blob patties without globs.
    • You say potato...

      @wackoae - that's an extreme example (like many of mine) but as a company wouldn't you want to ensure that your employees are practicing the best hygiene? Bonus points for using McGerKing, that was funny.
  • You Must Be a Masochist to Wear Google Glass

    As I for one, will punch the crap out of anyone wearing Google Glass in my presence. You have been warned.
    • You must be very rich or hate freedom?

      I'm almost tempted to buy a set and follow you round with them on. Don't forget that self-defence allows us to retaliate, then amusingly, have you arrested, take you to court and make money off your stupidity. You're in the wrong legally and as such, you will be looked on as the crazy.
      Stop being a keyboard warrior, frantic typing a hard man does not make.
      Little Old Man
      • You May Want to Take Your Own Advice

        "Stop being a keyboard warrior, frantic typing a hard man does not make."

        First off I was not serious,

        I never take the first swing. I was very good at pushing buttons provoking someone into taking the first swing. Many times.

        Freedom. Depending on where I stand, unless I am in public, I have the right to an expectation of privacy. Google Glass infringes on that right.

        Law makers are already talking about legislating Glass. I expect the courts to rule Glass to be unlawful in the workplace. I expect business to create policies banning Glass on their premises.

        I am a huge proponent of the 4th Amendment. I have read every US Supreme Court decision regarding the 4th and 5th Amendments. I have read nearly every SLIP opinion on every Florida DCA decision.

        It will be unlawful to use Glass anywhere other than your own home or in public. If Glass is allowed by management to be used in their place of business, they will be required to post notices similar to surveillance video.

        About your brilliant plan to follow me around.

        I live in Florida so you cannot attach my house, car is leased, I'm self employed so no garnishment, All my savings are in retirement and insurance trust accounts. I am judgment proof.

        Retaliation? I'm still going to hurt you, no matter how big and bad you are. For example, I was duking it out with a neighbor a few years ago. He was younger and damn tough. I had my doubts if I would win. When in that rare situation my plan would be to inflict as much pain as possible so the other guy will remember not to get in to it with me again.

        Each time I'd get knocked to the ground, before I'd get up, I would lie there until he got close enough for me to kick him in the knee. I'd always kick him in the same knee, his left knee. After about 10-15 minutes we both walked away. He was hurt pretty bad. I had a bruised ear.

        I was brought up in a violent home in blue collar Milwaukee. My father was a drunk and I had brothers 2 and 3 years older. I had to learn at a very early age to defend myself.

        I have been in hundreds of bare fisted bar room fights. Being in that many fight I learned how guys react and I can use that to my advantage. A very common method I used was to grab the guy by his wind pipe with my left hand where my thumb and middle finger are essentially touching on the backside of the wind pipe. I then twist his head back and use my right fist like a hammer on their face. When I let go they fall to the ground and I walk away. It happens so fast, usually no one would see what happened. They would just find a guy in a little heap on the floor.

        Since my father died I no longer have that monster inside me. With his death the monster was released. But I still know how to walk the walk and have no need to merely talk the talk.

        I have a very good criminal attorney. The chance of me doing jail time for battery is nil. My arrest record has 3 counts of battery. Never made it to court, my attorney would have the charges dropped by the State Attorney.

        Still want to follow me around?
    • absurd

      If you can't prove my Google Glass was on and recording at the time you saw me, what right have you to attack me for wearing an article of clothing on my person? Most civilized societies would call that assault and battery - enjoy prison.

      Furthermore, unless you actually look like a bulldog, I would not be able to know who you are, so how would this serve as a warning to me that you are the person who would "punch the crap" out of me if I didn't take off my Google Glass in your presence? This is no useful warning at all.

      Adults are trying to have a conversation here. Contribute meaningfully or go somewhere else.
      Non-techie Talk