Enterprise Mobility Summit 2014: Google Glass ‘mainly a marketing implement’

By Danny Palmer
13 Jun 2014 View Comments
Google Glass DVF sunglasses

Google Glass is currently nothing more than a marketing exercise, but if properly developed, the technology could have a lot more potential for enterprise use in future.

That's the view of Philip van Enis, group IT director for property consultants Bidwells, who made the comments during a panel session at Computing's Enterprise Mobility Summit 2014 this week. 

Further reading

Speaking as part of a panel discussing the future of enterprise mobility, van Enis made it clear that he wasn't very impressed with Google Glass at the moment. 

"As human beings, we're built in a way where we're supposed to touch things with two hands, we look at things, we hear things and I don't think technology is really taking true advantage of that," he said.

"Take Google Glass, for example, I'm actually quite cynical about Google Glass. I think it's mainly a marketing implement for them to maintain awareness," van Enis continued.

"But if you extrapolate it and ask how it could work in the future, you can see the potential as a contact lens as you're not going to be carrying anything on your head, so it needs better integration with the body."

Nonetheless, David Presland, enterprise architect - workforce mobility, global IT strategic development and performance at oil and gas company BG Group, believes Google Glass has potential.

He described how the wearable device could give the user access to complex data in seconds, enabling them to perform complicated tasks and calculations. 

"There's a great video out there by a firm that's been working with Google, who work in health and safety surrounding oil and gas. They can use applications to look at a pipe and be told exactly what to do to relieve pressure on the pipe," he said. 

"It's about the use of internet connectivity, voice commands, information and big data, with the device allowing access to all the information, complex analytics and processes you need to do your job, rather than just the device itself."

However, Presland also warned that Google Glass represents a fundamental challenge when it comes to people's actions. For example, the fact that the device records at all times could lead to inappropriate or awkward situations.

"Just because we're talking about the benefits of these technologies, doesn't mean they don't come with their own issues," he said.

"So, Google Glass could have a massive impact on HR processes, because one thing people don't sometimes realise is that it records everything you do," he said, before describing a potential situation around inappropriate glances.

"So if I'm walking down the street wearing Google Glass, or working in the environment as a male and decide to lower my head to look at a female co-worker, there's a HR issue for me right there. 

"So certain things in technology that we're moving to are not good. But it's that ability to look at the appropriateness of what we're doing with each particular device. Moving forward, it's not BYOD [bring your own device], it's not CYOD [choose your own device] it's the appropriateness of what I'm doing, supported by the technology," Presland added.

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