Poor Google Glass — when it comes to business uses, the naysayers have been piling on the soon-to-be-released head gadget, suggesting that privacy and security concerns may lead companies to ban the devices from the workplace.
But heads up, killjoys. Field service could be just one of several industries Google Glass will impact in the years ahead — and unlike office-bound professions, field service is better suited to put the device to work in more immediate and practical ways. Gadi Eichhorn at Realise Data Systems — a U.K.-based field service technology firm — offered his take on how that might break down. Here are some additional insights for service managers to consider:
Better Training, Monitoring & Research
What makes Google Glass so cool — and so scary for privacy and security watchdogs — is its voice-activated video-recording capability. It’s intended to allow for hands-free video recording anywhere and at anytime. For field service, however, this will vastly improve training, writes Eichhorn. Service techs will be able to create training videos based on real encounters in the field. Video will also allow field service outfits to monitor employees’ work and conduct research and development, he says.
Live Support & Remote Collaboration
Next, Eichhorn predicts that the ability to use Google+ Chat through Google Glass will enable field techs to contact HQ from anywhere. Google Glass combined with Google+ Video Chat will also allow technicians who encounter an unexpected problem at a customer site to reach out to other company experts and, if necessary, receive step-by-step instructions on the proper fix remotely.
Fail-Safe Directions & Fewer Fines
Google Glass promises to deliver 3-D directions, literally, right before your eyes. This should reduce missed turns and other driving errors that can cost service organizations time and money. Hands-free GPS will also allow techs to call company dispatchers without losing track of where they are going or breaking traffic laws.
Self-Service & Remote Repairs
These areas may just be the beginning of the changes in store for field service, courtesy of Google Glass. Think about it: how could a hands-free, all-encompassing device for repairs not be a hit in an industry that is, by definition, totally hands-on? Customers could receive step-by-step repair instructions talking with a remote service tech via video chat. The cost savings could be enormous.
Better yet, what if a Google Glass-wearing customer could show a technician the precise problem before an on-site visit? Given the need to improve ‘first-time-fix’ rates and to always focus on enhancing customer service, the answer to the question of whether Google Glass is good for field service seems obvious.