Vision of the future or a pain in the glass?

Gurjit Degun
24 September 2014

Having tried Google Glass yesterday at the eWorld Purchasing & Supply exhibition, I can understand the positive impact it could have on business.

The technology is simple to use and works by tapping and sliding your finger across the right arm of the glasses. If you need to specify anything, you can enter details by speaking.

For example, a procurement professional can order an item using Google Glass, this is then sent to their manager for approval who can check the item wherever they are and tap the arm of the glasses accordingly.

On the one hand it feels as though CPOs will never get away from work, but then Peter Kinder, chief technology officer at Wax Digital, explained the glasses are used in the same way people use their phones.

How many CPOs check their emails before they get to work? And how many are constantly checking their phones for emails when out and about? It seems to me that Google Glass just makes that process easier. Instead of searching for your phone, it is much easier to tap the arm a couple of times to bring up your emails. Or if you are required to approve an order you could set up an alert. But the distraction means that just like using a phone, you would probably need to sit down somewhere to check details of an order before approving it.

Daniel Ball, chief executive at Wax Digital, believes the technology enables procurement professionals to spend more time on developing strategic initiatives.

In its current format, I found Google Glass to be a bit bulky, and at £1,000 I don’t think it’s something many businesses would invest in just yet. However Kinder predicted that the price will come down to around £300 in a few years, more than half the price of the new iPhone.

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