Google's Alphabet relaunches smart glasses for business use
- The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that Alphabet is running tests of an updated Google Glass at various corporations, including Boeing, General Electric and Volkswagen.
- After failing to successfully market the Google Glass to consumers, Alphabet is now aiming at the business world in hopes that the Glass will be better suited to functional as opposed to recreational use.
- The original Glass cost $1,500, but according to the Journal's report, the new Glass price will vary based on company customization and needs.
Google Glass may have failed as a consumer product, but it has a pretty good chance of succeeding as a business tool. In fact, Alphabet isn't the only company testing the technology. At the FIA Formula E electric street races in Brooklyn, NY last week, DHL showcased its various technological innovations (including the Parcelcopter and EffiBOT) using its own smart glasses developed with the help of Google, Vuzix and Ubimax.
For DHL, smart glasses will help workers more efficiently locate and categorize packages within a warehouse, which is part of DHL's new "vision picking" program. DHL told Supply Chain Dive during a demonstration at last week's races that the company is already testing the smart glasses in DHL warehouses.
If the Google Glass and smart glasses like it succeed elsewhere, the implications are huge, as the tech could also positively redefine a warehouse worker's job. DHL, as one of the first companies to use augmented reality in its supply chain operations, stated in its press release that the augmented reality market is expected to grow to $150 billion by 2020 and is "the next big thing after smartphones."
According to the release, "The initial 2014 test in the Netherlands showed a significant increase in productivity, reduced error rates and overall rise in employee satisfaction, proving that augmented reality can make an impactful difference in reality."
If DHL's prognosis and Alphabet's instinct are correct, then other companies would do well to look into augmented reality as a new way to produce greater efficacy, productivity, and cost savings within supply chains.
- The Wall Street Journal Google Parent Alphabet Tries Again With Eyeglass-Mounted Device
- Supply Chain Dive DHL to break ground on first US-based Innovation Center this year
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