First impressions of Google Glass used in the greenhouse industry

As you may have read, GGS has acquired the Google Glass, and will be looking into its applications in both our customers’ greenhouses, and our own manufacturing plant. Here are some observations and interesting features of the device thus far.

Wink to Snap a Photo
You can Wink to take a picture. It takes a picture instantaneously, even when the screen is off. This is an insanely useful (if a little worrisome) feature that has many business uses. You basically have a handsfree camera equipped at all times. I can see many uses for this in the greenhouse – if you’re up on a ladder and see a part that needs replacing, you can Wink to snap the picture, then using voice commands, send the picture to the person in charge of purchasing. This is all done without your hands, freeing them up for other tasks. The camera can also take HD video – all you need to say is “ok glass, record a video.”

Using Glass While Driving
I found Glass to be incredibly useful while driving, whether it’s to answer a phone call, dictate a text message, or view GPS directions. Everything is done with voice commands so there is no need to fiddle with buttons or controls. I found it to be much less distracting than holding a cell phone and looking down at it. You simply need to glance slightly upwards to view the information, and your field of view is still on the road. It is no different than glancing at your speedometer, and even less distracting than changing a radio station. When you stare straight ahead at the road, the display is in the corner of your vision and unobtrusive.

Making Phone Calls
The right arm of the glasses has a speaker built in, but it’s not a regular speaker – there are no holes. Instead it’s a bone conduction speaker that conducts sound from the bones of your skull to your inner ear. This allows you to hear Google Glass without needing to put a headphone in your ear. It works incredibly well, and you can call somebody by simply saying “ok glass, call John Smith.” Video calls are also possible through the Google Hangouts app.

There is an app store for Glass that allows users to extend the functionality of the device. So far the store has a very limited number of apps, but 3rd party developers will be creating new and innovative ways to interact with information and media on Glass. For greenhouse growers, we could see automation companies like Link4 and Damatex creating apps to control your entire system with Glass.

Those are my initial impressions after playing with Google Glass for a few days. We’ll post more updates as we continue our testing – and particularly any features we think greenhouse growers could benefit from!

For more information:
GGS Structures Inc.

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