When Jason Smylie applied for Google Glass over Twitter, he wrote that he would use it to take photos and video of his infant son — “so my son would see himself through my eyes,” he said.
Smylie, one of thousands to be invited to buy and use Glass before it is released to the public in 2014, does use the wearable computer to snap pictures while playing with his now 1½-year-old, but he wanted another way to use the $1,500 gadget.
So he turned to his business.
Google Glass is a head-mounted computer that is worn like glasses and can shoot photo and video, take calls and navigate the Internet. It composes text by voice.
In Nevada, Google Glass is banned at casinos, but Smylie and others are experimenting with business applications. Nationally, two proposed uses are medical training and inventory tracking.
Smylie has several titles at Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, among them franchise owner and chief information officer. A self-described techie, he is using Glass to create first-person training videos to teach employees how to make sandwiches, use the cash register, interact with customers and clean.
Smylie and Kathy Harris, Capriotti’s director of training and culture, are working on their first video, which explains how to make house-roasted pulled turkey — the star ingredient in the sandwich chain’s signature Bobbie Sandwich.
Once the video is created and edited in iMovie, it will be uploaded to the national training database for any employee to use and potentially be quizzed on.
“If the eyes are the window to the soul, Google Glass gives you that perspective,” Harris said.
Smylie said he thought about shelling out big bucks for a high-production video, but decided it was more cost-efficient to do it on his own.
“You can do so much in-house these days with little resources,” he said.
Dylan Bathurst, co-founder of Rumgr, an online service that helps people sell or donate their stuff, said he uses Glass to improve his work efficiency.
Bathurst spends most of his workday in front of a computer, coding for his website and writing emails.
“I’m always switching between work, talking to people and updating Twitter,” he said. “It can get pretty distracting having all those applications open on my desktop.”
So Bathurst keeps the task he wants to focus on on his computer and relies on Glass for email, text and social media. He wears Glass a couple of times a week for four to five-hour stretches and finds it comfortable.
“It’s helped with my productivity,” he said. “I get a notification on Google Glass but I don’t check it if it’s not important enough.”
It’s also particularly useful for snapping pictures and taking calls while driving, since only a tap on the side of the device is required to answer a call.
As an iPhone user, though, he’s not able to use turn-by-turn directions while driving.
Smylie and Bathurst say Glass is limited in its current applications — there aren’t many apps, a battery charge only lasts a day, it doesn’t work well with iPhones — but they both say they’re excited to see what the future holds for Glass.
“Like any tech, with the first version you have to start small and keep working on it,” Bathurst said.
Contact Review-Journal writer Kristy Totten at firstname.lastname@example.org