Google Glass really excites me and I never tire of hearing the new ways that people find to use this incredible device - I doubt even Google could fathom the many ways Glass may help our society. Yes, I know there are privacy issues, and that they are already banned in at least ten, understandable, places, but I think their good far outweighs the bad. There are even privacy issues with smartphones, but look how they have enriched our lives by allowing freedom from wires, contacting people, reading email on the run, instant messaging, taking videos of violent crimes, snapping a picture in an instant, and on and on. This is what Glass will be able to do, and much. much, more...in an effort to find out exactly how everyday people might use Glass to enhance their lives, Google ran a contest, #ifIhadGlass, and asked, if you had Glass, how would you use these hi-tech specs. A small town Fire Chief wrote in and won the chance to use Glass to help fight fires. Here is a small excerpt from his submission:
If I had glass... I would improve firefighter safety by providing firefighters pre-fire planning maps with low visibility circumstances. It will supply real-time video to incident commanders, and instructions like "EVACUATE NOW!" or, "VICTIM, REAR BEDROOM!" to firefighters.
He received his Glass on Friday and by Sunday he was testing them out at an actual house fire and he had only one word when it was over, WOW!
The Chief is excited by the prospects of when Glass is finally released sometime next year - his only concern is how they will hold up to the heat, smoke, and water, but he believes that the Glass they sell to the public will be very different from the design of today, and we certainly agree with that assessment. He also believes that Google had this contest and selected areas of interest where they can learn and improve Glass from these users' experiences.
Firefighting is a fast-paced, demanding career, where information is critical in doing a good and safe job, and Glass allows the Chief to record the fire via video, take a picture, send a picture, and make a phone call; he believes Glass to be the next information revolution. A picture taken at the scene of the fire is better than trying to remember the image. Pictures for investigators are better taken immediately, than sifting through the ashes after the fact. Instructions and information can be feed back to headquarters, and decisions, such as, "evacuate now" or information where a victim may be hidden from view.
This is a terrific example of the power of Glass and how it can help Firefighters as they battle a blaze - if you had Glass, how would you use them to maker a job easier. Let us know in the comments or on Google+.