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Google Displays Input Devices

Google Glass Enters The Manufacturing Sector (npr.org) 61

NPR recently profiled one of the 100 factory workers now using Google Glass at the agricultural equipment manufacturer AGCO. An anonymous reader quotes their report: Google Glass tells her what to do should she forget, for example, which part goes where. "I don't have to leave my area to go look at the computer every time I need to look up something," she says. With Google Glass, she scans the serial number on the part she's working on. This brings up manuals, photos or videos she may need. She can tap the side of headset or say "OK Glass" and use voice commands to leave notes for the next shift worker...

Peggy Gullick, business process improvement director with AGCO, says the addition of Google Glass has been "a total game changer." Quality checks are now 20 percent faster, she says, and it's also helpful for on-the-job training of new employees... Tiffany Tsai, who writes about technology, says it's one of a growing number of companies -- including General Electric and Boeing -- testing it out... Companies working in the health care, entertainment and energy industries are listed as some of the Google Glass certified partners.

AGCO plans to have 200 workers using Google Glass by the end of this year.
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Google Glass Enters The Manufacturing Sector

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  • where robots replace those forgetful humans? NPR? No People Required.
    • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Saturday March 18, 2017 @10:13PM (#54067681)

      In AGCO's case it looks like they make products that are not assembly-line and not otherwise terribly automated simply because agricultural products are not made in sufficient volume to justify the costs to automate. Too much per-customer customization, too little volume, and the machines are very expensive so it's kind of hard to try to force customers into not customizing.

      My biggest concern with things like on-demand lookup is that it may lead to people thinking they're more knowledgeable or capable than they are; that reference substitutes for experience. I've seen it firsthand where people in the IT field think they're all-that but they really don't know what they're doing and are so reliant on reference materials that when the system behaves other than how it's supposed to they are unable to cope.

      Hopefully AGCO won't have this problem, especially when they're applying the technology to manufacturing in particular.

  • just an AR headset (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Sunday March 19, 2017 @12:15AM (#54067917)

    Google Glass is just an AR headset, one among many, and one with a fairly limited feature set. These kinds of simple, monocular AR headsets have been around for a while commercially, for example the Epson Moverio and the Vusix. For higher quality AR, the Microsoft Hololens and the Meta are probably better choices.

  • by Applehu Akbar ( 2968043 ) on Sunday March 19, 2017 @12:40AM (#54067959)

    And this is where it should have been rolled out first, not as a toy for dudebros to wear in clubs.

    Think of surgeons and pilots who need HUD data while at work, repair personnel who can have manual pages open while they fix your product, lawyers being able to search Lexis in the courtroom, and wilderness guides able to have the 'map in front of them' at all times as a link to their GPS.

    • Maybe, but in this case it sounds like a job for a tablet or smartphone. It doesn't sound like it is needed constantly, and it requires a hand anyway.
      • by chill ( 34294 )

        RTFA

        "We had a lot of tablets on our floor, and the tablets were being broken just by being dropped. And tractors are very tall machines when you're climbing on and off," Gullick says. "So we were looking for a solution that offered them more information in a more timely manner."

        Hands-free devices can offer major benefits.

    • by green1 ( 322787 )

      I pointed that out many times when Google Glass first came out, that consumers were completely the wrong market for it, and that it would be much more likely to be a hit in commercial or industrial applications.

      People told me I didn't know what I was talking about...

  • by MindPrison ( 864299 ) on Sunday March 19, 2017 @01:51AM (#54068101) Journal

    So many times I have to "google" a part number to find out what it does, oh...it's an 24 Bit AD converter, now let me find the datasheet.

    Imagine if I could just look at the PCB as I do normally when searching and fault-finding, and have a Video-overlay with simple specs on each chip and device I am looking at, and perhaps with a few blinks just bring up the datasheets and quickly close them again.

    Are you kidding me? This is SUPER useful!

    • Or have a smartphone that you pull out in case and use the camera of that instead? It would require pretty much the same software as the glasses, and seems more practical to me.
      • Constantly tapping the screen to stay awake... Or constantly putting it out of ur pocket... Or no where to place the phone cause you need two hands to fix something as your looking at the manual. This sits on your face... Where you'd probably be wearing work glasses anyway... And your hands are free to actual do the maintenance while the manual is easy to view.
    • by kencurry ( 471519 ) on Sunday March 19, 2017 @12:33PM (#54069221)
      I was a google explorer (a beta tester but I paid for the glasses myself so i have direct and expensive experience). If you did something intensive like have an image looked up for a reference, it did so by sending the image to your coupled phone, had your phone look it up; then your phone sent back the data, and it would process the data and overlay it onto your view ...

      Yes, that took as long as it sounds, was as buggy as it sounds, and killed battery as much as you would guess. Oh, and they got hot if you were really taxing them like that.
      • I believe you. This device isn't powerful enough yet. But imagine when the network speed is fast enough, and the real-time image processing happens online in the cloud, maybe this will be improved over time.

        Still find google "Goggles" quite useful when looking up famous artwork.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Remember the older tablets and PDAs running WM5? or even the Apple newton?
        This thing has a lot of uses in the work place and the military, it just need to get more reliable...and we are almost there

    • That would be very useful. That is the Hololens by Microsoft, not the Google Glass. Without head tracking you cannot overlay anything on top of the real world. The images and text will always be where they are in your vision and not overlayed on the real world. Think Heads Up Display rather than Augmented Reality.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... every time I need to look-up something ...

    One of the problems with the 'employees are replaceable' mentality is, employees need generic job skills (eg: Accounting rules, using a spreadsheet, following a checklist, reading) and knowledge of the business processes used by a specific business. This became a big problem ten years ago, when businesses switched to paperless offices, where nothing could be written down. This looks like the answer. Then again, it magnifies the problem that people don't learn anything when they've got a "monkey see, mo

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