Wearable Technology Show: Glass half empty or half full?

March 25, 2014
2 min read
Goldeni from Kopin
Goldeni from Kopin

In the second part of a week long series of blog posts, Senior Trends Consultant Richard Cope reports back from the inaugural Wearable Technology Show at London’s Olympia, examining the devices on show and the recurrent themes and human needs that bind them.

The poster boy of wearable technology was conspicuous by its absence from the stands, but the sight of three panelists discussing Augmented Reality onstage, all sporting the headsets made for an arresting and amusing image. Will Google Glass ever become commonplace in more mainstream surroundings? Dan Cui of Vuzik App Review argued for eventual acceptance, citing how once upon a time the general public laughed at those seemingly self-important enough to talk and take calls on mobile phones. It’s true that surgeons have been using video glasses for years to reduce operation times by half and my quick trial of Kopin’s Goldeni smart glasses confirmed their value to an intended customer base of aerospace engineers and medics who need hands free access to manuals and blueprints and the ability to record and zoom in on the task in hand for dual perspectives. I looked pretty far from cool in my Goldeni headset though and found myself pondering the panel’s poser as to how Google Glass can avoid becoming the visual version of the clunky Bluetooth headset.

Having seen how smart glasses work for medical and engineering professionals, Virgin Atlantic afforded us some insights in to how this technology can work for customer service. Always a technologically progressive airline, Virgin has been trialing Google Glass as a means of delivering seamless VIP service to its customers. A video report shows how airport staff at kerbside wearing Glass log the number plates of arriving limousines, identify flyers and assign tasks to Virgin staff within seconds.

BarcodEye’s software app also showed how glasses could be used in the office, hospital, warehouse or art gallery to rapidly scan and deliver information about real document contents, medical records, pending orders for dispatch or artist information.

If you would like to know what these trends – and others – mean for your business please contact Richard to discuss our trend presentation, project and facilitation services. E-mail: rcope@mintel.com; Twitter @Richard_Mintel

Richard Cope
Richard Cope

Richard is a Senior Trends Consultant, bringing the latest consumer trends to Mintel clients through bespoke presentations and represents Mintel at global conferences.

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