Google faces headwinds (and in some cases, outright ridicule) getting consumers to try to accept its Google Glass computer headgear. Some observers have argued that the company might try focusing on business customers who can use them for specific purposes with immediate, practical payoffs.
Although Google is not likely to abandon its consumer push, the company announced on Monday its first official partners for Google Glass applications aimed at business and enterprise customers.
The list of five companies includes APX (real-time access to data), Augmedix (lets doctors view patient data), CrowdOptic (live broadcast of sports and other events), GuidiGO (interactive museum tours) and Wearable Intelligence (workplace productivity).
Jon Fisher, founder and chief executive of CrowdOptic, said his company has been working with Google for a year now.
"Google Glass has been the subject of a bit of backlash on the consumer side," Fisher said. "But what's been woefully under-reported is the widespread adoption and positive experiences on the enterprise side."
With CrowdOptic, an organization can monitor live video feeds from multiple wearers of Glass and sense which direction the user is facing and even what object they are focused on. A moderator can switch rapidly between these different feeds to offer a range of viewpoints of a live event, Fisher explained.
One of CrowdOptic's latest partners is the National Basketball Assn.'s Indiana Pacers. At games, a number of Pacer employees wear Google Glass at different locations around the arena. In addition, the teams’ employees hand out pairs to players, cheerleaders and select celebrities in attendance.
During the game, a moderator can interact with the Google Glass wearers, telling them to look left or right, up or down, to capture a view of the game on the court or the crowd cheering. CrowdOptic lets the moderator view all the feeds simultaneously and then route them to the arena's scoreboard, or to a television broadcast partner.
"I think the market is going to see this adoption in the enterprise space," Fisher said. "And as that happens, I think you'll see a lot more adoption on the consumer side."
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