Trade Resources Industry Views Google Glass Freaked out Some Regular Folks Who Feared for Their Privacy

Google Glass Freaked out Some Regular Folks Who Feared for Their Privacy

Google Glass freaked out some regular folks who feared for their privacy. Many were unsure about the practical applications for a wearable Android computer with an optical head-mounted display.Others were simply baffled at the price of admission ($1500) to the Google Glass inner circle of “Explorers.”

When the company announced this week on Google+ that its wearable device had “graduated” from the Google[x] laboratories, and would not be sold after Jan. 19, some thought Google Glass was dead.

The Wall Street Journal, however, reports that Google might dump a processor made by Texas Instruments Inc. in favor of a chip manufactured by Intel Corp. to power a new version of Glass. The newspaper cited unidentified sources saying that Intel will market it“to companies such as hospital networks and manufacturers, while developing new workplace uses for the device.”

Without being specific, Google hinted that Glass is not dead yet.

“Since we first met, interest in wearables has exploded, and today it’s one of the most exciting areas in technology,” the Google+ announcement said. “Glass at Work has been growing, and we’re seeing incredible developments with Glass in the workplace. … You’ll start to see future versions of Glass when they’re ready.”

Google's Glass wearable computer with optical head-mounted display. (Courtesy Google)

Google Glass: Dead or Undead?

Consumers may not care, but some in the medical world probably will. Surgeons in particular have embraced the technology, which allows them to keep track of their patients’ conditions in the midst of operations and live-stream surgical procedures to thousands of students.

Medical device engineers and manufacturers may also see potential in an upgraded version.For example, Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Cos. has debuted a free Glass app for monitoring machine tools. Philips Healthcare has embraced Glass as a way to augment the information that its patient monitoring systems provide, at least in operating room simulators.

Google Glass also found a home in ambulances. MedEx Ambulance Service, which provides transportation to hospitals and other healthcare sites in the Chicago area, acquired two pairs of Google Glass that were tailored for a specific purpose. These specs come with installed software that is designed to transmit video and audio from the back of the ambulance to an emergency room doctor who can stream the content live on a tablet or desktop computer.

A study published last year by Stanford, yielded early evidence that Google Glass markedly improves a surgeon’s abilities. In particular, it boosts their situational awareness and ability to track vital signs in real time, thus improves patient safety as well—especially when anesthesiologists are not present.

So although the future of Google Glass is uncertain, the website reported that the next version of the product, GoogleGlass2, would be introduced in the U.K. later this year.

Google did not comment on any of these reports, but its announcement hinted that the best is yet to come.

“You’ll start to see future versions of Glass when they’re ready,” the company’s announcement said. “Hang tight—it’s going to be an exciting ride

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Google Glass: Dead or Undead?