Gigaom’s Kevin C. Tofel reported on the launch of Google’s Glass at Work initiative in this thought-provoking post that suggests the connected spectacles might be a better fit for the enterprise market than the consumer market. Tofel cites several examples of Google Glass apps designed for the workplace, including one offering to help firefighters make their way through smoking buildings and another aimed at enabling doctors to access patient information. And VentureBeat reported today that a research team from the U.S. Air Force is testing Google Glass for possible use in battlefield scenarios.
I think Tofel is on the money here — the initial high price of Google Glass is likely to forestall rapid uptake by mainstream users, and any kind of connected eyewear will have to overcome huge hurdles connected to consumer behavior, social norms and privacy. Those concerns won’t be nearly as troublesome in the enterprise market, however. So we’re likely to see Google Glass gain traction in the workplace before it seeps into the consumer market. And that’s the exact opposite of what the growing BYOD trend has done for smartphones and tablets.