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I can’t decide which change faster—advanced technologies or opinions about their value. Take Google Glasses. Less than a year ago, it was the favorite of the cognoscenti. Today, the knives are out. And this is all about a product that won’t even be released until l later this year. That said, it’s important that businesses cut through the noise to begin exploring value Google Glass might offer.

To find out more, I recently talked with Raimund Gross, Solution Architect and Futurist at SAP, whose work encompasses a wide range of projects across many technologies including Google Glass. He thinks Google Glass has tremendous potential to improve employee and company performance provided decision-makers take a practical approach to see beyond the “cool” factor.

“Like any technology, it’s important to carefully evaluate whether or not the potential benefits make sense to your organization. Google Glass is definitely more applicable to certain work situations and industries than others,” he says.

Of course the value of Google Glass is predicated on linking to relevant data. Gross is part of the Architecture, Communication, Education, Security (ACES) team at SAP, which explores how new and upcoming innovations can bring value to customers. The objective is to see how devices with access to SAP backend infrastructure can deliver real-time, relevant information to workers in industries including banking, healthcare, and manufacturing.

Based on our conversation, here are seven questions that companies can ask as a starting point when considering Google Glass. You can read the full article here.

  1. Are your workers constantly on the move and do they need constantly updated information?
  2. Is lightweight wearability important?
  3. Would your workers be more efficient and safe if they could perform part of their responsibilities hands-free?
  4. Do your workers have time-sensitive responsibilities that could be compromised by alarm fatigue, ambient daily noise, or inattention for any reason? Would immediate alerts in front of their eyes help them?
  5. Could your workers save time if they had specific information from backend systems that’s integrated with what happens to be in and/or near their line of sight?
  6. Do your workers need a choice of movements? Google Glass responds to voice commands, taps, gestures, or head movements.
  7. Is real-time information crucial to getting the job done right? I’ve blogged about how coaches from the German Bundesliga football club TSG 1899 Hoffenheim have tested Google GlassData Glasses: SAP Goes Wearable to gain insights on player performance during practice.

Google Glass may not provide measurable value in many business environments. But it makes sense to give it a careful look in the context of how it might make a difference to yours.

Follow me @smgaler

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