Google’s discontinued AR glasses is about to come back to life with new features like Artificial Intelligence. Plataine, an Israeli software company demonstrated a new app for the face-mounted gadget at a conference in San Francisco devoted to Google’s cloud computing business, last week.
Aimed at manufacturing workers, the new app is more like Amazon Alexa for the factory workers. It understands spoken language and offers verbal responses, reports Wired.
The goal is to help workers on the factory floor become more productive and efficient. That all centers around the company’s AI-based Digital Assistant which provides documentation for real-time productivity tracking, important alerts, and recommendations completely hands-free.
With clients including GE, Boeing, and Airbus, Plataine is working to add image-recognition capabilities to the new app as well. Plataine built the app with the support of Google and AI services provided by Google’s cloud division.
Jennifer Bennett, technical director to Google Cloud’s CTO office, said Head Mounted Displays (HMDs) like Google Glass make a logical tool for the factory floor, where laptops and smartphones would be awkward. “Many of you probably remember Google Glass from the consumer days—it’s baaack,” she said, earning warm laughter, before introducing Plataine’s project. “Glass has become a really interesting technology for the enterprise.”
According to Plataine, some real-world examples may be, when an employee clocking in for the day and receiving a report about production issues that need attention. At the same time, another employee could walk into the supply room and say, “I need help selecting materials.” Google Glass would respond both verbally and visually with what supplies were needed and where they could be found. It would also allow factory supervisors to see firsthand what was happening on the floor by Google Glass syncing into software Plataine already provides customers, such as Airbus, to track production operations.
What happened to Google Glass?
Shortly after its unveiling in 2012, Google glass was named one of the best inventions of the year by Time Magazine. Additional hype from The New Yorker, Vogue, The Simpsons, Saturday Night Live, The Morning Show, as well as famous people like Prince Charles and Oprah Winfrey, seemed like it would cement Google Glass’s place at the top of the AR and VR headsets.
However, as quickly as it began, it was announced that Google Glass was going away. Poor technical reviews, bugs, low battery life, and privacy concerns all contributed to Google Glass being put on the shelf.
The new Google glass
Thanks to artificial intelligence, it seems like Google Glass may be getting a second chance and a whole lot smarter. AI addition to Google glass and Plataine’s app seem to make it a perfect fit for the factory floor. Also, the upcoming image-recognition capabilities to the app mean it will be able to read barcodes, recognize tools and more. The technology also lends itself to training, quality control inspection and maintenance. Virtual instructions could be projected onto the field of vision, ensuring proper execution with the right tools and the right steps, even in complex situations where high precision and tight tolerances are required. Improving safety, reducing errors, enhancing efficiencies and streamlining processes should help ensure that Google Glass is back for good.