As you read the title of this post, you were probably wondering how I managed to make a connection between something as cutting-edge as Google Glass and that stalwart of IT for the last 20 years, the Windows desktop. Well, it’s a little bit of a stretch; however, there is an important principle to grasp as we look at these diverse computing devices through the eyes of our beleaguered CIO.
Wearable computing devices represent the next wave of mobility computing and, just as with tablets and smartphones, when I find something cool and productive that I love to use in my personal life then it’s only a matter of time before I want to use it in my work life. I’m going to want email alerts, reminders, location-based contact lookups, phone book integration and more. Computing devices used in and around the enterprise will continue to become more diverse, which in turn makes the device-management approach more and more impractical. IT needs to concentrate on providing user-centric access and security around apps and data, defining a policy that can be applied on any device: Google Glasses, iPhones, Macs, Tablets, Notebooks or Windows desktops!
This “policy” approach, applied at the user and not the device level, is really the only practical way moving forward. Increasing mobility means increased privacy considerations: When using Google Glass is there information that should be available in some locations and not others? What if someone else puts on my Google Glasses? What if they’re stolen?
Although my tone may seem a little negative, there is a positive spin to all of this – location-aware eyewear can also proactively provide information to users that increase productivity in business. As CTO of Cloud Jon Wallace touched upon in his previous blog post, the possibilities are endless. What if pop ups could inform you of customers in the area you could visit and their calendar slots? Flight delays and traffic notifications are other obvious use cases that would benefit an increasingly mobile workforce.
SEE ALSO: Windows Desktop and the BYOD Trend
Allow me to indulge for a moment … in my ideal world Citrix, VMware and Microsoft (or at least the FreeRDP people) would all produce remote display connectors for reality-enhancing eyewear so that users could access new and old business apps together seamlessly. Imagine then, the ability to connect via Bluetooth mouse and keyboard and you’re good to work anywhere (“any-wear?” groan) without the use of a tablet or laptop. Sounds sweet to me!
What other use cases do you envision for Google Glass and wearable computing devices in the enterprise?