While Google is looking into ways to revive Glass, its futuristic head-mounted display that unfortunately failed to attract the average consumer and whose commercial launch consequently got indefinitely delayed, numerous industries are still interested in the said wearable and its potential applications. The last name on the long list of enormous companies looking into Google Glass solutions is the American aircraft manufacturer Boeing. As Kyle Tsai, Boeing Research and Technology's engineer recently revealed, manufacturing airplanes is no easy task and thousands of the company's employees are having a lot of trouble with installing the complex wire harnesses found in each and every one of Boeing's planes.
Tsai says that the company's technicians are currently using what are basically "road maps" to find the necessary connectors while performing maintenance on the company's aircraft. Due to the fact that modern planes have thousands of electrical systems that require even more wires, that's a lot of maps Boeing's employees have to make sense of on a daily basis. Not unexpectedly, the Chicago-based company is currently looking into solutions to facilitate this process and reportedly sees Google Glass as one of the best candidates. Boeing finds Glass attractive primarily because it would allow its employees to perform maintenance tasks without handling wiring maps and—unlike consumers—isn't concerned with the battery life of the wearable.
Interestingly enough, Boeing was actually looking into augmented reality (AR) solutions to the aforementioned problem more than two decades ago. Way back in 1995, the Chicago-based aircraft manufacturer was testing a head-mounted device called "Navigator 2". The company ultimately decided the said wearable isn't worth implementing into its maintenance process due to its numerous technological limitations and the fact that it would cost a fortune to produce. However, 20 years later, Google released Glass and Boeing immediately took notice as this wearable is precisely what Navigator 2 was meant to be: a relatively cheap piece of AR hardware that can display maps to its technicians without occupying their hands.
As things stand right now, it's only a matter of time when Boeing will equip its technicians with Google Glass. As for individuals who don't have the resources of a multinational corporation, it remains to be seen whether the upcoming Google Glass 2 wearable will be any cheaper or at least offer significantly more for the $1,500 price than its predecessor.