So what is Google glass you may ask?
Google Glass is a completely hands-free glasses like device that is currently being developed by Google. It projects images directly to the user in a similar format to a smartphone screen using a prism which lays an image over reality.
Here’s a wee image that shows you the set up behind glass:
There are many ways in which Google glass could be an exceptionally useful product in many ares of modern day living, a prime example of this would be the coupling of the completely hands-free device and health care professionals.
Having had many a family member sprawled out across the operating table in past years, some with and some without complications, it is an area i am fairly passionate about. Any new technologies which may improve conditions for everyone involved is something i feel we need to strongly consider! Why not improve those chances of recovery and lower the risk of complications? So lets explore the use of the eyeware and health care!
Just as all new technologies need testing, so too did Google glass. The first of the eye ware has been with early adopters (who had to sign up to a lottery for the privilege) since April 2013. One of these early adopters is Dr. Rafael Grossmann who was the first person to integrate Google Glass into the operating theater. He wore the device during a PEG (percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy) procedure and found the device has the potential to improve patient safety, operator comfort, and procedure efficiency in the field.
Following Dr. Grossmanns introduction of google glass into the operating theatre came many more similar uses of the new technology. Again In January 2014, Indian Orthopedic Surgeon Selene G. Parekh performed a foot and ankle surgery using Google Glass, which was broadcast live on Google website via the internet. The surgery was held during an annual conference attended by a team of experts, and co-organized by Dr Ashish Sharma. Sharma said Google Glass allows looking at an X-Ray or MRI without taking the eye off of the patient, and allows a doctor to communicate with a patient’s family or friends during a procedure. He states “The image which the doctor sees through Google Glass will be broadcast on the internet. It’s an amazing technology. Earlier, during surgeries, to show something to another doctor, we had to keep moving and the cameraman had to move as well to take different angles. During this, there are chances of infection. So in this technology, the image seen by the doctor using Google Glass will be seen by everyone throughout the world,”.
Here’s another example of the Glass being used in the medical field, just follow the link and watch it in action http://www.cbsnews.com/news/google-glass-surgeons-new-best-friend-what-one-surgeon-is-saying-about-tech/
Sounds pretty good so far doesn’t it?
But hold on, as we all know, there are always the downsides and the cynics out there! So here we go..
However convincing it is that this product will transform and improve the way surgeries are performed today, it is not without its flaws. One of these being battery life. Battery life is limited and an external battery is required for procedures longer than 30 minutes (which there are many of). Also a strong Wi-Fi connection in the operating room is crucial for optimum use of the device. And since the camera is positioned above the wearer’s eye, the captured image often only includes the top part of what is actually being seen, potentially leaving out valuable information. Then there is also the drawback of Eye strain from the screen and limited voice commands may also decrease usability.
So now we have the cons related to my topic of interest, (and because i’m sure you’re interested to know) what are the cons associated with use by the wider public? For surely there are some. Well here you go!
Many concerns have been raised regarding the intrusion of privacy whilst the device is being used in public and the security issues that come along side this. There are worries that it may be used for recording people without their permission, that it may be able to identify strangers in public, and that it poses a high risk in the event of a device being stolen or lost. The glasses also cause concern where driving vehicles is involved, one person already having been fined in California for wearing Google glass while driving.
Along with these kinks which are being worked out by the Google team comes the issue of cost. Unfortunately it is likely that when the Google Glass is released to the domestic market it will be too expensive for the average user, at this stage to get on board with the trial Program it is (USD)$1500 + tax. The price is expected to come down but they are still likely to be too costly for another gadget that effectively does the same thing that your smart phone can do.
So to sum this all up, it’s hard to predict whether Glass will become a new mass phenomenon. But I am certain that if it doesn’t, something like it will.
And don’t be shocked if you see your doctor wearing a pair sometime in the near future!