Goodbye, Google Glass: Remembering Some of the Earliest Use Cases

Written BY

Emily Friedman

March 17, 2023

It’s difficult to quantify the impact of Google Glass on the entire enterprise AR market. Glass really took one for the team, and I genuinely do not believe the space would be as mature or use cases as numerous as they are today had it not been for Glass. Glass Explorer Edition inspired some incredibly imaginative professionals who, either officially or (in many cases) unofficially, created some of the first augmented reality POCs in enterprise

Back in 2015, when the media was calling Glass a failure and outing Glassholes in public, we began the Augmented Enterprise Summit. We took a chance on a budding market based on the stories of those early Google Glass Explorers. Let’s look back at some of the earliest AR use cases from 2013 and 2014:

Stock pickers at Dutch e-fulfillment company Active Ants wore Glass for hands-free pick lists, reducing errors and increasing their speed.

BMW tested Glass at one of its U.S. plants for quality control of pre-series vehicles. Workers used the device to document issues to show engineers.

Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop used Glass to record new workers’ performance and the lunchtime rush, hoping to spot areas for improvement.

At Copenhagen Airport, airport duty managers trialed Glass to document issues and help answer travelers’ questions on the spot.

Lawfirm Fennemore Craig loaned Glass to clients to record a day in their lives for evidence in their personal injury lawsuits.

Fidelity created Fidelity Market Monitor, an investing app for Glass providing stock quotes. 

GM experimented with the device in quality inspection and for viewing procedural instructions.


Japan Airlines tested Glass with personnel on the tarmac at Honolulu Airport to enable remote visual inspections from headquarters.


Kenneth Cole created a Glass app for its “Man Up for Mankind Challenge” promoting its new Mankind fragrance. Glass wearers recorded themselves doing good deeds for a chance to win a $1,000 Mankind toolkit.

KFC tried using Glass to record tutorials for new recruits.

HVAC company Las Vegas Air Conditioning had its technicians wear Glass on jobs to live stream their work for the customer’s benefit.


Mayo Clinic tested Glass across different specialties and departments to view patient information, document injuries, and more.

National ConnectForce Claims (NCC) tested Glass as a tool for field adjusters in its Catastrophe Division to take photos and capture real-time audio and video from the ground to show personnel back at the home office.


Global ERP software company QAD recorded short interviews with new employees to introduce them to team members outside the corporate office.

Contractor Rogers-O’Brien tested Glass to capture and share jobsite information hands-free.

Schlumberger equipped oil field workers with Glass for hands-free workflow where tablets cannot go.

Sherwin-Williams created an app for Glass. ColorSnap users take photos with Glass, then the app matches the colors in the photos to available paint colors.


Field techs at Southern California company Sullivan Solar Power used Glass to safely view specs while installing solar panels atop homes and businesses.


Virgin Atlantic used Google Glass to process first-class passengers for their flights.


DHL first piloted Google Glass Explorer Edition for vision picking within the warehouse, then expanded its use of Google Glass Enterprise Edition in 2019 (2015)


AGCO used Glass Explorer Edition then Glass Enterprise Edition for work instructions on the factory floor, limiting travel to and from workstations and reducing defects (2015)

UPS tested Google Glass to reduce the amount of labeling on packages (2015)


These and other forward-thinking explorers saw what others could not in the first Glass: Enterprise potential. They dreamed of dozens of ways to use Glass and future augmented reality glasses. Hotels toyed with Glass as an in-room amenity, companies used it to record everything from hair tutorials to property walkthroughs, major banks and retailers thought of apps and marketing campaigns for it...The device itself may not stand the test of time, but the applications certainly do.

Image source: Wikipedia

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