Are wearable technologies the future for government?

By now we have all seen the advertisements for Google Glass,Fitbit and the Galaxy Gear. These futuristic technologies are making a name for themselves in the marketplace. You can track your calories, make calls and search google all from tech attached to your wrist or glasses. But can these techs make an impact in the enterprise? Can government embrace wearable technologies?

Bob Gourley is the Editor and Publisher of CTO Vision. He told Chris Dorobek on the DorobekINSIDER program that wearable tech is still very much in the experimental phase.

Wearable devices are there any application for work?

“Yes there is. But I also think it is ok to be playing around at this stage. Because we need to still flesh out those concepts. Do you remember when the first Windows computer shipped and they put a game on there, solitaire, it was a brilliant move because it got folks to play with a computer and learn how to use a mouse and a keyboard. So right now it is time to play around with these devices and see what you can do. That’s what I have been doing for the past several weeks with Google Glass,” said Gourley.

What is Google Glass?

“It is a small computer, based on the Android operating system, but you wear it along with your glasses might be. A little band goes behind your ear where there is a phone conducting speaker. There is a small computer running the Android operating system. There is a camera that can take video and still photos. A microphone that can actually listen to you or listen to things in the room, and a little screen in a prism that you can look at and read. The prism is as if you are looking at a small TV set. It has very high resolution,” said Gourley.

What was your experience like using it?

“When you wear it and there are other people, there is a real creep factor. So, I don’t wear it in crowds where it is not expected because people do stare at you. I have worn it at tourist locations and at a tourist site people are already using their own cameras and taking lots of pictures so you aren’t being that rude or obnoxious. But when you are just walking around in downtown there is a definite creep factor,” said Gourley.

Transformative technology?

“Google Glass has not changed my life in any way. I don’t wake up and run to the glasses and put them on. There are days when I am not using it at all. When I am using it, I am frequently trying to push it to its limit. So I can write about it or think of ideas or talk to enterprise people about what you might do with it two years from now. It has changed the way that I record family pictures. But that is on the personal side, not the enterprise side,” said Gourley.

Is there a killer app?

“For me, the killer apps is the feature that allows you to take pictures and record video. For enterprise users the killer app may be different things. For example, you can query google just by asking it a question,” said Gourley.

Future of wearable tech?

“We are going to have more and more security concerns. We have all been worried about security for a decade. We are not even getting our hands around how to secure a PC and now we are all getting these wearable devices like the fitbit. They are not secure either. And they all have to communicate with each other. They all use wifi or bluetooth and those are not secure either,” said Gourley. “When you are watching the Superbowl look for people wearing devices like this. They will be helping to protect people.”

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Shahrzad Rizvi

As a fellow Govy I find Glass useful for auditing and notetaking for ‘field operations’ (Streets, Code Compliance, etc). Take photo or voice notes (that transcribe to text) and send it to Evernote to be available on your desktop. App development is growing to allow for more specific “Govy’ Use cases” Here’s a firefighter making his own app