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Google Glass finds a new home at the factory

Thomas BlackMay 20, 2019

Remember Google Glass?

The vaunted debut of the company’s computerized eyewear six years ago was one of Silicon Valley’s more spectacular flops. Deemed too awkward and pretentious, early users were disparaged as “glassholes” by a critical public. Parent companyAlphabet Inc.quickly retired the product.

Now it seems it was just a case of wrong time, wrong place.

If consumers aren’t quite ready to sport eyewear that uses voice commands to browse the internet or hold video conferences, workers on the factory floor are. Alphabet, along with Microsoft Corp. and a slew of startups, are bringing so-called wearables back as part of a push to make warehouses and manufacturing more efficient with the help of technology.“The hands-free aspect is what’s really revolutionizing our approach here,” said Michael Kaldenbach, head of digital realities for Royal Dutch Shell Plc. “We’re shifting from the speed of your thumb to the speed of speech.”

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