The Inevitable Rise of Google Glass 2.0

Written BY

Emily Friedman

July 19, 2017

The use cases mentioned in Wired’s breaking story about Google Glass 2.0 are supreme examples of Google Glass’ success in the workplace. AGCO, Boeing, DHL and GE are certainly major companies validating the benefits of Glass to enterprise. Their stories have been shared here on EnterpriseWear as well as at every Enterprise Wearable Technology Summit.

(See Wearables in Manufacturing: Interview with AGCO’s Peggy Gulick ; Wearables in Industry: Interview with GE’s Sam Murley ; and Wearables in Logistics: Now or Later?)

But there have been numerous use cases by big and small companies alike since Glass made its ill-fated consumer debut in 2012. Not all those early explorations were developed further; some of the first experiments were simply small, short pilots that were subsequently dropped because the tech wasn’t ready or because the company may not have had the resources, connections or patience of a Boeing or GE. But it was those cases that taught Google a big lesson, encouraging the company to direct its attention to the enterprise and get to work on what would ultimately become Google Glass Enterprise Edition.

While companies like GE and Boeing have been clandestinely using Google Glass EE for a while now, it’s worth looking back at some of the earliest – and incredibly imaginative – test runs of Google Glass Explorer Edition:

Airports & Airlines

  • In one of the most publicized early trials, Virgin Atlantic agents at London’s Heathrow Airport used Google Glass to process first-class passengers for their flights while maintaining eye contact with them.
  • At Copenhagen Airport, the device was used by airport duty managers to document issues and answer travelers’ questions on the spot.
  • Japan Airlines had personnel on the tarmac at Honolulu Airport wear Glass so that staff at headquarters could perform remote visual inspections of planes and send instructions.


  • Dr. Rafael Grossmann was the first to use Google Glass during live surgery.
  • Glass was tested at Stanford University Medical Center to guide residents through surgery, at UC San Francisco to broadcast surgeries for faculty and students to watch, and at UC Irvine Medical Center to monitor anesthesia residents.
  • At Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, four ER doctors used the glasses in lieu of tablets to get real-time clinical information.
  • Dr. Peter Chai used the technology in ED to facilitate remote consultations in dermatological cases.
  • Several physicians and administrators at Mayo Clinic tested Glass in different specialties and departments for viewing patient info, documenting injuries, and learning.
  • Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital used Glass as an aid in a tumor removal and abdominal wall reconstruction procedure. IU Health’s Paul Szotek also livestreamed a hernia repair with the device.
  • Chicago-based MedEx had its paramedics use Glass to communicate with specialists from the ambulance and show ER doctors the status of incoming patients in real time.

*Dr. Szotek will talk about his experiences since that first livestream at the Fall 2017 Enterprise Wearable Technology Summit.

Rogers-O’Brien Construction

  • The Texas-based general contractor used Google Glass to capture, share and collaborate on jobsite information hands-free. It was an early foray for the company, which has since experimented and adopted all kinds of emerging technologies including VR headsets and partial exoskeletons.

*Todd Wynne and Joe Williams of Rogers-O’Brien are also speaking at the fall event.

Car Companies

  • In a pilot project at one of BMW’s U.S. plants, Google Glass was tested for quality assurance, used by workers to document potential defects and improve communication between the quality testers and development engineers.
  • GM experimented with the device in quality inspection and as a tool for viewing procedural instructions.

Food Industry

  • Several restaurant chains have tested Glass for training purposes: KFC tried out the device to record tutorials and play them back for new recruits. Similarly, Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop used Glass to record new workers’ performance and the lunchtime rush, hoping to spot areas for improvement.


  • The global ERP software company used short video interviews recorded with Glass to introduce new employees to team members outside of the corporate office.

Las Vegas Air Conditioning

  • The HVAC company was one of the first to have its technicians wear Google Glass on jobs, to live stream their work for the customer to see.

Sullivan Solar Power

  • The Southern California company’s field technicians wore Glass to safely (hands-free) view specs and plans while installing solar panels atop homes and businesses.


  • The oilfield service company tried out 30 pairs of Google Glass to provide hands-free intelligence to workers in the field, improving their safety and efficiency.

Active Ants

  • Stock pickers at the Dutch e-fulfillment company were able to reduce their error rate by 12% and increase their speed by 15% using Glass.

San Francisco’s de Young Museum

  • One of the first museums to integrate Google Glass into an art exhibit: Visitors used the tech to gain more insight into the artist and featured works in de Young’s 2014/15 Keith Haring show.

Fennemore Craig (now Lamber Goodnow)

  • Two attorneys at the personal injury law firm used Google Glass to win cases, loaning the device to clients so they could record a day in their lives post-injury.

Find out just how much Google Glass has progressed – both the hardware and applications – since those early days at the upcoming Fall 2017 Enterprise Wearable Technology Summit, where real end-users will speak about their “secret” deployments of the technology.

photo credit: jurvetson Sergey Brin Solves for X via photopin (license)

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