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Do you ever wonder what it’s like to be the first to do something? It must be a grand feeling to go where no man has gone before, whether that place is a mountain or the moon. There are also a lot of risks that come with maiden voyages. You can plan all you want, but the only way to find out what lies on the edge of the horizon is to go there. Google, now Alphabet, has long been a pioneer in the tech world. Their Google Glass product was a bold attempt to bring heads up displays (HUDs) into the public eye. While Google Glass’s initial run did not go like its developers thought it would, it paved the way for future uses. Now Google Glass is back with its Enterprise Edition, which aims to bring HUDs into the workplace. There are several companies that are already using a prototype version of the Glass Enterprise Edition (Glass EE), and they have all reported increased efficiency. This product aims to take a big chunk of the burgeoning HUD glasses market.
The Original Google Glass
In the old days if you discovered some new place you would have to travel all the way back to other people to tell them about it. Now you can just take a picture on your phone and upload it to the social media platform of your choice. The original Glass was a venture that aimed to make the technological world even more accessible than it already was.
Google Glass is a glasses frame with a computer that could hook you right up to google and display information in your field of vision. They use a small projector and prism to beam information directly into your eye. Then you can see and respond to notifications without having to pull out your phone or type anything. To interact with Glass you can use a touchpad mounted on the side or voice commands. Users said that the Glass was incredibly useful and integrated well with Google Now.
Despite its coolness factor, the public was not quite ready for something so futuristic. Revolutionary ideas are often discomforting at first and the presence of a camera on glasses, as opposed to a phone, made some people wary of it. Additionally, people thought that the glass was a finished product when it was still in its development phase. These factors led to the the Glass being put on ice for several years.
Google Glass makes machine maintenance much more efficient.
Google Glass Enterprise Edition
Some people complain that space exploration is pointless, but they forget that many things we use today were developed for space travel. If you consider only the initial phase of the Glass you might be tempted to think this way. However, that first chapter prepared the Glass for bigger and better things.
Unbeknownst to the general public Google Glass development never actually stopped. It moved instead from a consumer focused model to a business focused one. Google has been quietly working with companies like GE, DHL, and Sutter Health to develop uses for it in the workplace. GE uses Glass EE to help its maintenance workers increase efficiency. Instead of having to refer to paper manuals, instructions can be loaded onto the Glass EE and displayed in the worker’s field of vision. One agricultural machinery company, AGCO, estimates using Glass EE has reduced their manufacturing times by 25%.
Glass EE is not just for industrial applications, it can also be used in the medical field. Partner Sutter Health estimates it has reduced their doctors’ administrative work from 33% down to 10% of their work day. The Glass assists in the note-taking process and can leave doctors with up to 2 hours of extra time to spend treating patients instead of doing paperwork. The Glass works so much better in the workplace mostly because there it’s a tool and not a toy. I’m not worried about my coworkers snapping pictures of me, that would get them fired. The Glass has found its true calling in the world of business.
Maybe Glass can reduce waiting room times, we need to get this into every doctor’s office immediately.
Glasses HUD Market
It’s great that the glass works well in a professional setting, but is it going to make any money there? Lucky for Google the wearable HUD market is growing, and they could snatch a big slice of the pie.
Back in 2015, the smart glass market was valued at $2.1 billion. This could increase up to $6.56 billion by 2021. Not only is the market for glasses HUDs growing, the general HUD market is growing and is expected to reach $9.02 billion by 2020. One of the drivers for this growth is the increased use of HUDs in vehicles. Glass could get into the vehicular market with apps made just for cars. An automotive HUD doesn’t necessarily have to be embedded in the windscreen, it could be right in the driver’s eye. Since the advent of Google Glass, though, some competition has entered the market. There are a wide variety of other smart glasses available that are trying to grab market shares as well. However, with their focus on the workplace, Google could be targeting a niche that few others have considered.
Google Glass has long been very interesting to the public. When they first came out I imagined myself wearing them around town. Now Google glass can make workplaces more efficient and productive. Google stands to make quite a bit of money off this product, as the market has grown significantly since the Glass’ original release.
If you want to jump in on this HUD market you’re going to need to design some smart PCBs. CircuitStudio® can help you do just that with its wide array of advanced features.
Have more questions about wearable HUDs? Call an expert at Altium.