Immediate notification is critical for work-in-progress

A primary reason I am involved with Google Glass is to explore its use in the workplace.  As an example, how and when would companies communicate with their employees using this technology? I wasn’t expecting such an intense conversation on that exact point at a Fourth of July barbecue.

I only knew three people who would be at the party of many dozens celebrating the holiday there, so this was a good chance to observe reaction to Glass among strangers and let them try it. As I walked into the spacious backyard for the event, the first two people I saw were unknown to me, but one immediately spoke up, “Is that Google Glass?” even before an expected “Hello.” Actually, I was amazed at how many people recognized Glass, and in the convivial atmosphere, they wanted to make it the central topic of conversation.  As the party went on, I heard “Is that Google Glass?” excitedly from almost everyone aged 30 or younger. And from people who work in tech jobs.

One of those first two people I encountered was a man who was not familiar with Glass though the woman standing with him was, and he had questions for me. As soon as I began explaining to her what it could do, it was clear the man was paying particularly close attention. 

Then we separated as we moved on through the crowd, but he sought me out about 30 minutes later. He was thinking about workers in oil fields or around large machinery who needed notification immediately about some critical aspect of their work-in-progress. Because of the noise, the only truly effective way to relay that kind of message now is to tap the worker on the shoulder—or get in his face.

That’s what he wants Google Glass to do. The fact that a text message can appear in the field of vision seemed to be a solution he needed. He asked me who he could call to order a couple hundred, right after the holiday.  Tomorrow.

Previously posted on on July 4, 2013