Apple Watch

10 Companies Still Thriving with Google Glass

In early 2015 Google ended consumer based operations for their Google Glass product. For a variety of reasons, Google decided to overhaul their push into augmented reality. For Google’s initial target user, the product all but disappeared. However, all along Google, as it always does, has a backup plan. This plan came in the form of enterprise applications of the Google Glass platform. Right now there is a thriving market for Google Glass at work and there are 10 companies partnering with Google to make this a reality. These companies are referenced in Google’s Glass at Work Page. These companies are doing amazing, innovative things with a wearable device that many thought was completely down-for-the-count. With Augmedix’s recent $17 Million Round of funding there is no better time to take a look at Google’s often forgotten venture.  

AMA

AMA

1.  Advanced Medical Applications (Link)

"AMA specializes in the medical field with solutions in telemedicine, live-surgery demonstrations, and remote medical training. AMA’s vision is to seamlessly connect doctors-to-doctors and doctors-to-patients remotely through the use of Glass from all corners of the globe." - Google

Advanced medical applications is hoping to bring wearable tech into the medical sphere. They have created an application for Google Glass that brings expert doctors to any operating room. For example, if someone enters an emergency room with an extremely unique medical case, as a patient you want someone who is an expert at treating this case in the room with you. However, that isn't the case, and it is unrealistic to think that there are experts in all fields in all hospitals. AMA solves this problem by bringing real time telemedicine and live-surgery demonstrations.

APX

APX

2. APX Labs (Link)

"APX Labs makes Skylight, the leading business software for Glass. It provides workers with hands-free, real-time access to enterprise data and the expertise they need to do their job. Skylight is used by Fortune 500 companies spanning multiple industries." - Google

APX labs have created an amazing enterprise application for Google Glass. They have created an enterprise platform that is customizable across industries. Currently their platform is used in aerospace, oil and gas, utilities, automotive and telecommunications. Companies use their application to reduce workplace errors, increase timeliness of manufacturing, implement expert guidance, and real time guides.

augmate

augmate

3. Augmate (link)

“Augmate's mission is to build a world where everyone can work without friction. To accomplish this they've created the Wearable Environment (WE) Manage platform - the leading enterprise solution that empowers IT administrators to quickly and securely scale thousands of wearable devices across their workforce.” - Google

Augmate at it’s core is an enterprise application that helps customers use and deploy their smart glasses and wearable devices. They create a unique experience for companies to be able to track, monitor, and maintain all wearable devices across their company.

Augmedix

Augmedix

4. Augmedix (link)

“Doctors spend over a third of their day pushing and pulling information to and from the Electronic Health Record. Augmedix provides a service for doctors that allows them to reclaim this time and refocus it on what matters most: patient care.” -Google

Augmedix just announced a new $17 Million funding round on April 24th that valued them at an unknown amount. The switch to electronic health records have forced doctors to spend hours behind the computer and much less time seeing patients. Augmedix’s Google Glass application brings real time transcription of medical records instead of having doctors transcribe and chart themselves.

CrowdOptic

CrowdOptic

5. CrowdOptic (link)

“CrowdOptic's middleware for wearables allows enterprises to manage wearable devices in the field from asingle platform. CrowdOptic's enterprise console and device-side connectors enable a range of wearable computing applications, from live streaming to context-aware computing.”  -Google

CrowdOptic provides a live streaming solution for wearables. They modify Google Glass’ user interface and allow streaming to be easy and accessible to anyone who puts on Google Glass.

Untitled-1

Untitled-1

6. GuidiGo (link)

“Our mission is to inspire people to connect with art and culture through a compelling mobile storytelling experience. Glass brings us closer to that vision, and by partnering with museums and cultural institutions this becomes accessible to everyone.” -Google

GuidiGo is unique to the other companies on this list as they are the only company using Google Glass for entertainment. They create unique, tailored tours for museums. With image recognition, and maps built into the user experience they create an non-intrusive Google Glass experience and bring it to mainstream consumers, not just industrial workers.

interapt

interapt

7. Interapt (link)

“Interapt develops solutions that enrich customer and employee engagement, solve operational challenges, and secure new opportunities across a wide variety of industries. Interapt creates and delivers complete packaged solutions including proprietary apps, analytics, and platforms.” -Google

Interapt is an all-in-one wearable workplace solution. However, they implement their use of Google Glass to create training and streaming solutions. They reduce operational costs by implementing glass and offer real-time collaboration at any time using glass streaming.

Untitled-1eyesight

Untitled-1eyesight

8.Pristine (link)

“Pristine created EyeSight, a secure video communication platform for Glass used by healthcare providers, medical device companies, and large enterprises to support front-line staff with the expert help they need--instantly, on demand, and hands-free.”  -Google

Pristine is similar to the previously mentioned Augmedix. They have developed a product “EyeSight” that implements Google Glass to bring off site experts into the view of an employee. It gives the opportunity to workers to use either their smartphone or Google Glass to livestream their issue, and have an expert at the other end provide immediate visual input to solve the problem.

sera

sera

9. Wearable Intelligence

“Wearable Intelligence creates Glassware for energy, manufacturing, healthcare, and more. Our workflow, communications, training, and data access products are in the field at some of the world's best known companies.”  -Google

Wearable Intelligence is listed as a Google partner, however they have since pivoted and are now Parsable. They have switched from hardware development (Google Glass). To software development and are now building an application “Sera” that aims to replace paper & walkie-talkies.

Ubimax

Ubimax

10. UbiMax (link)

“Ubimax is a full-service provider focused on creating Glass solutions for order picking, manufacturing, quality assurance, health care and more. Ubimax offers custom development services as well as standardized applications.”  -Google

Ubimax proved integrated computing solutions. They are an all-in-one solution for wearable tech at work. They provide consulting, software dev, and application supports. They break down their product offering into a few separate entities that are available, pick, make, inspect, assist, care, and build. They also offer a custom option where a customer can have UbiMax build a new application from scratch for a specific, unique industry.

Engineered to Succeed, Designed to Fail

Engineered to Succeed, Designed to Fail

The Problem With Bad IoT Design

No One Left Behind

The Internet of Things (IoT) is huge. As Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said at the World Economic Forum, “"[T]he Internet will disappear. There will be so many IP addresses, so many devices, sensors, things that you are wearing, things that you are interacting with, that you won't even sense it. It will be part of your presence all the time. Imagine you walk into a room, and the room is dynamic. And with your permission and all of that, you are interacting with the things going on in the room." With startups forming to create connected devices for Pacifiers , Cows , and even Socks there is no business left unaffected by the Internet of Things. Everyone, in every industry should be looking into major growth opportunities that IoT can provide your business.

The Problem With IoT

54a9cd90-3c76-11e5-94a5-0d02143faac8_time-cover-vr

54a9cd90-3c76-11e5-94a5-0d02143faac8_time-cover-vr

Hardware Engineers are not Designers. For good reason, the appeal to early adopters of IoT products is not a flashy screen or nice UI, it lies in the actual specifications. The engineers of these products live in a bubble, creating products and applications that appeal to people just like themselves. This closed loop often leads to a major problem, bad IoT design. This problem with IoT, and tech companies in general spawns an important question: New technology is for nerds, what does it take to make it cool?

Make Tech Cool Again

From an early stage, engineers must partner with hardware designers. These two sides of the production process should not act as separate entities, design should not be an afterthought. In order to appeal to the masses, connected devices/ IoT projects must have not just a useful, powerful product, it must have great hardware design. IoT companies must reach the consumers that matter. They must leave the geeky image behind and put forth major efforts in attractive, practical design.

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Companies can create the most amazing product, with a plethora of features that blow even the toughest critic away. However, without proper design that appeals to everyday people, the product is doomed to fail. Here, highlighted are IoT projects that have great engineering, great technical specifications and vision. However, some are lacking visually in what we believe to be an equally important facet of product development, leading to bad IoT design.

The Good

imgres

imgres

  • Fitbit: There is a reason why the FitBit is the best selling IoT wearable. The simple, practical design pushes it above the competition. Where comparable tech overcomplicates features, screens, etc.. FitBit has excelled in the niche activity tracker market by sticking to it's core feature set and what the user's of the product really want.

  • Apple Watch: Apple's break into the wearable market came as a huge success. Apple has always focused on simple design, as Steve Jobs famously put it, "Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple." In a crowded Mp3 player market, Apple was able to break through by creating an impossibly simple Mp3 player, the iPod. In a smartphone market that was dominated by the practical, yet aesthetically inadequate Blackberry, Apple was able to introduce a practical and beautiful phone with just one button. Now, in the wareable space, the Apple Watch has been able to grasp the simplicity of a wristwatch with the usability of a smartphone.

The Bad

  • At Bluefin we believe that there is no such thing as a bad IoT project. IoT is still a growing market, and in any growing market there is always room for innovation. This means companies will be trying new things, experimenting with strange ideas etc.. to come up with a breakthrough product. That is why we say here that there is no IoT project too strange or too small. In the hands of excellent engineers and experienced product professionals there is always a chance for an IoT project to succeed. However, we do believe in bad IoT Design. That is where "The Ugly" comes into play...

The Ugly

2016-ces-day-one-14

2016-ces-day-one-14

  • The Daqri Smart Helmet: Daqri describes themselves as, “The human-machine interface company changing the future of work.” The smart helmet is an amazing piece of engineering. With thermal vision, data visualization and 4D work instructions Daqri hopes to change the way the way we manufacture and build. There is a robust support network as well as a custom application for developers to integrate your own workpackages into the Smart Helmet. However, we wonder, why, when the helmet is full of such amazing technical feats, must it look more like a fighter pilot helmet than a simple workplace hardhat. After Google’s deep mind AI AlphaGo beat world Champion Go Player Lee Sedol many people claimed that our Jobs will be taken by artificial intelligence in the near future. If the only alternative to AI are connected devices that look like this smart helmet I am pretty sure employees will be lining up to have their jobs taken rather than have to wear this on their head. Seriously, This helmet looks like a slightly more high tech version of this famous Official Star Trek Toy Helmet made in 1976.

pigeonair_closeup-1200x800

pigeonair_closeup-1200x800

  • Pigeon Air Patrol: Pigeon Air Patrol has created a wearable pollution tracker

  • for pigeons. This project focuses less on the consumer aspect and more on practical design. The concept of pigeons tracking air pollution in London is both innovative and intriguing. However, it seems as if the hardware design has come as an afterthought. Why does the backpack need to look like it’s from a sci-fi movie? The engineering and mission are top of the line. Why have we let design fall to the back of our minds?