Google Glass Carves a New Path in Tech Support
If Google Glass and its users seem to be to be everywhere—especially in the media—it’s for a good reason: people can’t stop talking about Glass. The company’s much-lampooned guide to responsible use of their latest innovation might inspire a few giggles, but in joining the long list of articles and posts already dedicated to Glass, it underscores just how visible the wearable computer has become in our lives. As of early 2014, the product itself remains in a public beta, but after gaining popularity with athletes, surgeons, and even automobile manufacturers, it appears the wearable computing device has crossed another threshold—this time, into the world of technical support.
Traditional data center support (both internal and external) has always been hampered by the limitations of phone and Internet connectivity. The introduction of advanced telepresence technology has helped to bridge that gap in professional settings, but even the biggest screen or highest-quality sound setup has difficulty truly replicating the experience of one person for another who is physically absent.
One provider is attempting to overcome these limitations by integrating the next wave of technology into its data centers. As part of an experimental training and support program, Canadian Web Hosting has equipped some of its I.T. staff with Google Glass. The goal of this program is to test how well technology such as Glass works for training employees, providing visual verification and compliance for clients, and, of course, remote support tasks for Canadian Web Hosting’s customers.
The company’s not using the high-tech specs to connect directly with customers (except as noted for visual compliance) for routine support calls—at least, not yet. Instead, it’s using Glass to connect employees in its Vancouver and Toronto data centers for conference calls, Google Hangouts, and cooperative support tasks. According to the company, using Glass has reduced the length of their average conference call and support sessions by 60%, improved compliance with remote clients, and made training staff much more efficient. A promising start, but as with any other innovation, the ultimate value of Glass as a tool for the data center lies in long-term use and lasting impact.
So is the data center of tomorrow one that’s built around Glass and other bleeding-edge tech? It’s impossible to tell. The fact that the Google Glass of 2014 is still in beta, with a fairly narrow range of available apps and a developer’s kit that debuted in November 2013, makes any serious conjecture about the future applications a crap shoot. But developer enthusiasm is high, and data center professionals are already looking ahead to the potential powers the device may offer.
While Canadian Web Hosting may be one of the first to bring Glass into the data center, they’re unlikely to be the last. We’ll keep you up-to-date with the very latest news in wearable tech and its impact on the hosting industry, but in the meantime, what do you think? Would you choose a hosting provider based on the availability of Glass-based support and applications? Let us know in the comments!