Google’s development of a wearable, hands-free, computer/camera/communication device is a major technological advance. As innovators in the field of cutting-edge Safety Management Systems, we at SafetyCulture are asking the question… Can Google Glass Save Workers’ Lives? At the very least, can it help us manage worker safety more efficiently?
We think the answer is yes.
We have what we believe is the first Google Glass device to hit Australian shores, as part of a developer release. Our determination to get our hands on them was driven by our clear vision of improvements we intend to deliver for worker safety.
The major advantage of Glass, is it’s ability allow the wearer to access and receive information, while operating ‘hands-free’. Not only that, the user can capture photos and video and send these to others in real time.
As far as we know, this is the first Google Glass
device ‘in the wild’ in Australia
What does this look like on the job? Well, we haven’t developed this just yet, but here’s some of the possibilities we’d like to help deliver:
- Location awareness via GPS that triggers appropriate alerts and messages. For example, you’re moving around in a large construction site and as you move from one ‘zone’ to another, you’re asked to confirm that you’re wearing the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment. Additionally, Safety Induction reminders can appear in the Glass display advising workers they require a refresher course or they need to renew a licence. Such inductions could even be undertaken there and then.
- Sensory data feeds are becoming more commonplace in workplaces and as the cost of sensors continues to fall, confined space temperatures or air quality readings being captured on site could be fed to Google Glass, so the smallest changes in air quality or gas detection can be monitored by the workers in real time.
- Real time data streams from the field can help decisions being made centrally. Workers in emergency services can stream video to other team members, to coordinate rescue and recovery efforts.
- Training in the use of a piece of equipment or machinery could be guided by an educator following the progress of the trainee by seeing what they’re seeing, and offering guidance as they work.
- A worker servicing or inspecting a piece of machinery may scan a barcode and have immediate access to that particular machine’s service history, manuals, Safe Work Method Statements or warnings of potential hazards.
Taking the lessons we’ve learned from successful development of Safety Applications for mobile devices so far, we’re confident that this device has the potential to deliver all manner of efficiencies in the workplace. And if we’re able to realise our vision for Glass, then it just might be responsible for saving lives.