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Google Glass and the Future of Windows Desktop

Posted by Jon Rolls, CTO of Desktop on March 13, 2013  /   Posted in Executive Insights  /  15 comments

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!

SEE ALSO: Alive and Well: the Windows Desktop In the Post-PC Era

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?

About Jon Rolls, CTO of Desktop

CTO of Desktop Jon Rolls drives collaboration and strategy for User Virtualization across the AppSense global organization. Leveraging over 15 years of software industry and windows management experience, Jon has worked with several industry pioneers including Citrix, Quest Software and Dell. Jon often blogs about key industry observations, desktop management, IT consumerization and BYOD.

15 Comments

  1. AppSense (@AppSense) March 13, 2013 11:18 am Reply

    Our CTO of Desktop @jonrolls shares his insight on #GoogleGlass and the Future of #Windows Desktop http://t.co/QpcHu1tNy0

  2. Guise Bule March 13, 2013 12:34 pm Reply

    So I can just carry around my glasses, bluetooth keyboard/mouse, accessing my NonP Win7 desktop on my glasses display ? I like this thing :)

    I may invest in one of those projector pocket keyboards to go with it.

    Shut up and take my money !

    • Jon Wallace, CTO of Cloud March 14, 2013 10:53 am Reply

      Exactly the statement Apple relies on Guise and the Nirvana every vendor aims for, Google being no different :o )

      Hope you are well pal!
      Jon

  3. Andrew Wood March 13, 2013 7:12 pm Reply

    I’m sure to appear a luddite – but I see more problems with google glasses than benefits – these aren’t static display devices interacting with your compute device with some widi display they’ll actively process image content. Sometimes its more productive to leave work and to leave work, you must be able to disconnnect

    • Jon Wallace, CTO of Cloud March 14, 2013 10:52 am Reply

      Hi Andrew,

      I think your comments are valid however I do question how is this different to the smartphone or tablet. I’m sure we can all remember the pre-smartphone time when we didn’t run like a pack of wild dogs to read email every time we heard that little chime, and yes, life was actually pretty good. Most of us have also moved past the fad phase too and are happy to ignore the phone after say 8PM understanding that the world is probably not going to end if that email is not responded to until the following day.

      I think the use that Jon refers to is similar. Like you I don’t want my work life front and center in my vision (sorry Darron :) ) every waking hour however being able to pull it up as and when is most interesting. Combine this with virtual keyboards or interactions with a tablet and we possibly get rid of the laptop.

      Like everything, context will be key. Just like I use my laptop for both work and personal the same will happen with new form factors like these glasses.

      Cheers,
      Jon

      • Andrew Wood April 16, 2013 5:47 pm Reply

        I did see a comment on a website the other day – “forgot my phone.. now I’m going to have to read the back of the shampoo bottles when I go to the toilet like I did in the 80s” so I can see where you’re coming from.

        “combine with virtual keyboards”.. I think you’re restricting the technology. Tracking eye movements is possible http://www.gizmag.com/tobii-pceye-eye-control-mouse-release/18328/, my Samsung phone has voice capability – other smartphones are available.

        If I rock up to a meeting and you have glasses on, are you paying attention to me? Or are you reading your glasses (or being read to (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/google/9843176/Google-Glass-uses-human-skull-to-transmit-sound.html)).

        I’ve got to admit – I don’t like tablets in meeting – too easy to look as if you’re capturing an note for ever when in fact you’re hurling a bird at some pigs.

        I can see wearable in the enterprise coming. Not today, not tomorrow, not even soon. But as and when it comes it will be a massive shift in data access context. Still, as long as it means we don’t re-invent Cylons we’ll be fine.

  4. AppSense (@AppSense) March 14, 2013 11:24 am Reply

    RT @JonWallaceViews: Short blog post from @AppSense CTO of Desktop @jonrolls on Google Glass – http://t.co/cw4QhRmMzz

  5. Jon Rolls (@jonrolls) March 14, 2013 5:08 pm Reply

    New blog post – I attempt to find common management ground between Google Glass and the Windows Desktop http://t.co/87yxkt8iVb

  6. Virtual Patrick (@Virtual_Patrick) March 15, 2013 1:58 pm Reply

    #Google Glass and the Future of #Windows Desktop | #AppSense Blog http://t.co/wh2UDXKms3

  7. @salrathea March 15, 2013 3:25 pm Reply

    RT @brianmadden: Google Glass and the future of the Windows desktop, from @jonrolls http://t.co/H3V7tpX3HM

  8. @rixabix March 18, 2013 10:20 am Reply

    RT @Virtual_Patrick: #Google Glass and the Future of #Windows Desktop | #AppSense Blog http://t.co/wh2UDXKms3

  9. @shoguevara March 18, 2013 5:40 pm Reply

    Интересный взгляд на будущее Google Glasss в корпоративном сегменте. Скорее всего, к этому и придем. http://t.co/WCIZC33m1p

  10. AppSense (@AppSense) March 20, 2013 1:11 pm Reply

    RT @Steveisreading: Google Glass and the Future of Windows Desktop | AppSense Blog http://t.co/xKUvqDST5D (via Instapaper)

  11. Troy Stephen Augustine Salt Lake City April 12, 2013 12:26 am Reply

    It’s hard to come by knowledgeable people on this subject, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  12. Jon Rolls (@jonrolls) April 12, 2013 12:42 pm Reply

    @DanShappir @appdetective @simoncrosby More (slightly tongue-in-cheek) thoughts on Google Glass here http://t.co/87yxkt8iVb

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