Enterprises are looking at smartglasses

Smartglasses, such as Google Glass are causing CIOs to take a fresh look as it has the potential to improve efficiency.

Smartglasses are important in vertical such as manufacturing, field service, retail and healthcare.

“Smartglasses with augmented reality (AR) and head-mounted cameras can increase the efficiency of technicians, engineers and other workers in field service, maintenance, healthcare and manufacturing roles,” said Angela McIntyre, research director, Gartner.

“In the next three to five years, the industry that is likely to experience the greatest benefit from smartglasses is field service, potentially increasing profits by $1 billion annually. The greatest savings in field service will come from diagnosing and fixing problems more quickly and without needing to bring additional experts to remote sites,” added McIntyre.

Smartglasses still remain an emerging technology in the enterprise and less than one percent of companies in the US have implemented smartglasses, although Gartner predicts that it may increase to 10 percent during the next five years for companies with offsite workers, such as field service personnel and inspectors.

The introduction of lower-priced, consumer versions of smartglasses will further help adoption such that in 10 years, perhaps half the companies that would benefit from using smartglasses will give them to at least some of their employees who could make use of them.

Adoption of smartglasses will be slow because the benefits they provide depend heavily on the apps and services targeted at smartglasses. However, during the next five years, the ecosystems will evolve to include more apps that do specific tasks with smartglasses, which may cause IT organizations to provide them for a wider range of employees.

Smartglasses are expected to have the most impact on heavy industry, such as manufacturing, and oil and gas, because the AR glasses enable on-the-job training of workers in how to fix equipment and perform manufacturing tasks.

The weightless industries, such as insurance, media and banking will likely experience a low impact from smartglasses. However, there are still potentially beneficial uses for smartglasses. Insurance agents, for example, may use smartglasses to video property that has been damaged and then check on the replacement value of items they have identified using a visual search.

Financial institutions and the media will use smartglasses to deliver alerts via subscription services for smartglasses to professionals who need up-to-the-minute information.

For the healthcare industry, smartglasses would facilitate telemedicine and expert consultations with doctors in a different locale, and they would serve as a how-to guide for performing medical procedures. Smartglasses could streamline the patient experience at the doctor’s office. Patients could opt-in to have their face in their doctor’s database. The electronic medical records of the patient would be ready for the doctor as soon as facial recognition identifies the patient.

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