Google Glass Didn't Disappear. You Can Find It On The Factory Floor

For those that don't remember Google Glass, it's the headsets that looked just like regular glasses but had a small computer on the side to speak to and access the Internet. The Google Glass technology never became overly popular and was discontinued in the consumer market. But now, the technology is getting a second chance in the manufacturing industry. One of the pioneers of the Google Glass technology is a company based in suburban Atlanta. AGCO has factories all around the world where it makes large tractors, farm equipment, and chemical sprayers. At one of the AGCO factories, Heather Erickson is putting together a tractor engine before it goes onto the assembly line. The factory worker is wearing a red-and-black uniform over her blue jeans at a facility located in Jackson, Minnesota and she is wearing a Google Glass device on her head.

The assembly line worker says that the device took a little getting used to, but once she did the device was awesome. Google Glass tells the employee what to do should she forget, which part goes where which allows her to stay in her work area without having to go and look at a computer everytime she has to look up something on the computer. With Google Glass, she can scan the serial number on the part she's working on. Google glass brings up manuals, videos or photos that she may need. She can also tap the side of the headset or say OK Glass along with using voice commands to leave notes for the next shift worker. The headset allows for more efficient work practices. The Google Glass headsets are also being used in other industries. Companies that work in the health care, energy, and entertainment and industries are listed as some of the Google Glass certified partners. And autistic children are using the innovative technology to recognize emotions.

For some companies, the addition of Google Glass has been a real game changer, with quality checks now being 20 percent faster, along with being helpful for on-the-job training of new employees. Before this workers at some companies used tablets. The addition of Google Glass is a practical solution that offers workers more accessible information promptly. AGCO has about 100 of their employees using the custom Google Glass device, which is attached to them and harder to lose. Each of the devices costs about $2,000. Tiffany Tsai, who writes about Google Glass technology, says that it is one of a growing number of companies who are using the device to include General Electric and Boeing and testing the technology out. Tsai was one of the early users of the Google Glass technology when it first came out in 2013. Two years later, the device was discontinued because some consumers were concerned about privacy and security. There were also concerns that the headset could be distracting to drivers or that it wasn't made with everyone in mind.

One of the disadvantages of the device is that when someone is using Google Glass, the people around the user have no idea what's happening on the device. Which can create a disconnect between people, which can be frowned upon, especially with older generations. Millennials may be more open to the technology in the future, but Google Glass still has a long way to go until the technology is considered more socially acceptable. But at the AGCO's factories, it's not only accepted it's a device that is desired. This is just one of the stories you will find on the NPR site. Other trending stories you will find include news, arts and life, celeb rumors, music, celebrity news online and so much more. **


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