Google Glass – Dead or alive?

Project Manager Niels Schmidt from Aarhus Municipality tells, how Google Glass has been alive in the daily tasks of employees for the past year.

Are the Google Glass dead - or are they still alive? Since Summer 2015, Project Manager Niels Schmidt has been the anchor on the project of implementing Google Glasses into the daily work of the employees of the municipality of Aarhus. Three selected departments were given a pair of glasses to try optimizing their working routines. The glasses were each receiving a special programmed app to fit their area. Based on this experiments, three cases were conducted.

Case 1: Google Glass in Health Care

Some might have the idea that the Google Glass were all dead and gone. The employees at Nursing Home of Rosenvang can report otherwise. As a project, they decided to try use the Google Glass for two areas of their daily work: Treatment of wounds and Medication. Normally, when a nurse should treat a wound, she have to attend the wound and take off her gloves, to find her mobile phone to take a photo and document the progress of the wound. Afterwards, she will wash her hands, put on new gloves and continue her nurturing.

With a pair of Google Glass, the nurse could scan a QR Code (You heard right – they are not dead either!) to locate the room number of the subject to visit. When attending of wounds, the nurse would be filming the wound while speaking loudly about the development and diagnosis. This videos are very useful for more reasons:
1) Follow the development of the wounds
2) Share information with the colleagues
3) Use the video for educational training of coming nurses

The problem, the nurses experienced with the Google Glass, was the batteries died quite fast. If they only recorded video, the battery had a durability for only 30 minutes.

Case 2: Google Glass in Renovation and Heat

When working with renovation of hot water pipes, the process can be quite complex. At first, an employee needs to check out the leakage and document the damage. If the employee is not able to give enough information by taking still photos, a manager needs to drive to the place and inspect the problem. All this, in order to make qualified tender documents. The municipal is paying for 10,000 hours a year for renovation of hot water pipes, why this area might benefit economically from the glasses.

The Google Glass was primary used to make live streaming from the points of leakage. The video was sent to the manager as a link. Live streaming would require a manager available waiting to watch it. All the materials were uploaded to a website directly. Cases were easy to document and handle. However, the department experienced problems with the changing weather temperatures. When cold outside, the glasses stopped working and if too warm, the glasses would shut down.

Case 3: Google Glass at the Library

The library are open to the public. Every day, hundreds and hundreds of people are visiting to use the library – or attending an event. Especially, the work before the event is demanding. The planning of an actual event and coordinating of volunteers can be quite a work. To get the ends to meet is probing. And, during the event, there often needs to be documentation and live streaming.

For this purpose, the Google Glass was very useful. The planer got a good overview with the Google Glass and when calling volunteers, it was possible to dial handsfree. The glasses were very useful for guidance and procedures. When something needed explanation, it was easy to record a video showing how to do the task. It eased the live streaming on the Social Media for the coordinator. However, if the event was crowded, the glasses sometimes reacted on the surrounding voices and activated functions unintentionally.

All employees found the Google Glass project very interesting. Some found them efficient to ease their daily work, some not so much. Such experiments demand for a lot of time. But, it was a good way to engage the employees and motivate them to re-think their working structures. A lot can often be optimized.

The experiments have now ended. If a version 2.0 of the experiments will follow, is depending on the quality of the version 2.0 of Google Glass. The purpose should be visible - even without the glasses.

Article written by Stine H. Tarp