My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: US Air Force testing the use of Google Glass in Combat - Helping Professionals on the Front Lines of their respective fields

Thursday, April 10, 2014

US Air Force testing the use of Google Glass in Combat - Helping Professionals on the Front Lines of their respective fields

While Google Glass gets more fashionable via a partnership with glasses designer Luxottica as explained in my blog article entitled “Google Glass partners with Luxottica to design Google Glasses for 2015 Launch - Google Glass now on the Path to going Mainstream with US$199 Glasses”., there are some field already finding uses for Google Glasses as they are made.

The US Air Force is currently testing the use of Google Glass as a possible tool to assist soldiers as reported in “US Air Force takes a look through Google Glass”, published April 8, 2014 7:05 PM PDT by Dara Kerr, “CNET News and Holy Smokes! BATMAN Tests Google Glass for the U.S. Military”, published April 9th 2014 BY KEITH WAGSTAFF, NBC News. The Test group, a research team at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, is designing Apps that can aid soldiers via providing information in combat situations.

This is an interesting development, as its qualities indicate that it has potential use in other equally taxing and hazardous situations. Already Doctors at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, are testing the idea of using Google Glass with four of its emergency room doctors for the past three (3) months to get real-time information on their patient while dealing with their medical problems.

This effectively allows them to ditch Tablets, reducing the risk of infections involved in touching things and lets them to multitask more as noted in “Doctors testing Google Glass to get real-time patient data”, published March 12, 2014 6:57 PM PDT, by Dara Kerr, CNET News.

This is best summed up by the words of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Chief Information Officer, Dr. John Halamka, a move away from Tablets and smartphones towards doing thi9ngs hands-free, quote: “We believe the ability to access and confirm clinical information at the bedside is one of the strongest features of Google Glass. I believe wearable computing will replace tablet-based computing for many clinicians who need their hands free and instant access to information.”

I wouldn’t be surprised if other professions e.g. Engineers, Stock Brokers, Commercial Airline Pilots that need information on call and on-spot begin using Google Glass as well, albeit it would have to be completely redesigned for firefighters!

Good to note here that this is not a partnership, but rather a case where the Air Force is merely trying to design their own apps and possibly modify the physical design of Google Glass to utilize the Google Glass in the following possible scenarios:

1.      Aircraft to ground communication
2.      Facial Recognition
3.      Mapping and Telemetry Data when in hostile Territory
4.      POV Recorder
5.      Real-time secure access to Military information in the field
6.      Search and rescue missions as it relates to location of missing persons
7.      Soldier to soldier communications in the field
8.      Target Location
9.      Weapons detection Capabilities

The properties of the Google Glass that make it able to do this is that it’s lightweight and doesn’t obstruct the view of the persons wearing it, in addition, it can take voice commands and also has a low battery requirements, with minor adjustments needed to make the Battery last longer for long duration missions.

Google Glass has a long ways to go in terms of design aesthetics before it can become a potential gamechanger and replacement for Tablet or smartwatch as noted in my blog article entitled “Google Glass Designer Isabelle Olsson puts Leopard frames on Google Glass - Smart + Sexy = Smexy glasses Katy Perry Roar for Tablet and smartphone Extinction”. Until then, it can help Doctors and apparently the US Air Force in the fight on the Front lines of their respective fields.

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