The company stated on its Google+ page Wednesday that January 19th would be the final day for consumers to buy the experimental Explorer Edition of Google Glass.
Google went on to say that it is ready to “graduate” the project from its Google X labs and will end the Glass Explorer Program, an “open beta” where consumers could give feedback about the $1,500 device. The company told customers to be ready for future versions of Glass, but gave no timeline or details about the next edition. Google also confirmed it would continue to support companies that are using Glass. The company partnered with Intel, who will be developing a processor for the Glass, and will possibly be releasing a new model in 2015.
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) have combined to prohibit the usage because they are afraid of illegal recording and movie privacy, according to Variety. Earlier this year a man was detained by the FBI while watching “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” in Columbus, Ohio. The device is also being banned in some bars, Las Vegas (within all the city’s casinos).
A tech-savvy hospital in Boston developed a custom information-retrieval system for Google Glass, allowing ER Doctors to scan a QR code on the wall of each room to call up information about patients. When a clinician walks into an emergency department room, he or she looks at a bar code (a QR or Quick Response code) placed on the wall. Google Glass quickly recognizes the room and then the ED Dashboard sends information about the patient in that room to the glasses, appearing in the clinician’s field of vision. The clinician can speak with the patient, examine the patient, and perform procedures while seeing problems, vital signs, lab results and other data.
Physicians aren’t waiting for their central IT departments, they’re finding their own ways to get access to the information they need, when they need it. One of the most visible signs of change is the adoption of the iPad and other mobile devices by physicians. The iPad has become an essential tool for clinicians. Last October, the Department of Veterans Affairs moved to open up its network so that doctors could use their own mobile devices. While other health systems have been slow to officially adopt the iPad and other devices, John Kornak, Director of Telehealth at the University of Maryland Medical Center says, “A BYOD (bring your own device) mentality is starting to take shape among physicians, and more mobile apps are starting to find their way into use.”
There is a strong push from doctors to find mobile apps that make it easier and more seamless for them to connect to health data such as charts and radiology images.
One of the most obvious applications for the high-resolution screen of the latest iPad is displaying medical imagery. By pulling up images from CT scans and MRI scans on their iPads, Hopkins’ Dr. Fishman says surgeons now use the iPad to explain procedures to patients more effectively. “Doctors can look at their cases in real-time. Now clinicians can look at the information generated as it’s created. They can pull down CT slices in 2 seconds. It’s very fast and interactive. They can bring the image to the bedside or in the office.
Activity tracking devices are currently being used by retail and warehouse workers, and not without abuses. Last year, the British supermarket chain Tesco was accused of keeping oppressive tabs on employees by using armband activity trackers to grade how hard they were working. Wearable s will definitely bring about discussions on workplace surveillance laws.
Other wearable scenarios, like the adoption of Google Glass a giant warehouse, could benefit drivers and warehouse workers by freeing their hands while flashing navigation data. So far the buzz around Google Glass has been as a consumer wearable for playing games, getting directions, and taking photos. Despite compelling use cases in manufacturing and medicine, Google Glass is expensive and unproven as an enterprise device. But with more apps, Glass and wearables it can have potential as an ultra-lightweight, real-time data-gathering machine in the workplace. One unsettling example of potential over monitoring is the idea of management gauging productivity by keeping tabs on where employees are in the office. UPS, for instance, uses a proprietary in-truck telematics system that tracks if its drivers wear their seatbelts, how fast they’re going, and how often they back up (backing up is inefficient and a safety concern).
Google glasses are being beta testing with the hopes of using them out in the field. “It’s in the early stages,” a source said of the NYPD’s use of the specs. “A handful of people are testing it out.”The high-tech glasses — which integrate a computerised interface into the wearer’s field of vision — could allow an officer to instantly see a suspect’s arrest record, mugshot and other key information.“If it works, it could be very beneficial for a cop on patrol who walks into a building with these glasses on,” the source said. “It would be like the Terminator. You walk past somebody and you get his pedigree info if he’s wanted for a warrant right on your eye screen. Google Glass is only available through the Glass Explorer Program in which those who feast their eyes on Glass apply online to become a part of the project. If approved by Google, Explorers can purchase the device for $1,500. Eric Farris, a police sergeant with the Byron, Ga., police department has tested Glass and said he thinks it could serve as a tool to solve investigations.