Google Glass Brings Personal Video Recording to the Workplace
Google Glass is still in beta, but one enterprising company is already figuring out how to use its video recording feature in the office. At the recent Streaming Media West conference in sunny Huntington Beach, California, Scott Lawson, director of IT architecture for enterprise resource planning software company QAD, sat down for a red carpet interview to explain how his company is already finding uses for Google Glass.
"So a new employee comes on. We want to introduce him to the whole team. QAD is a global company, most people are not at the corporate office. So we can make a quick interview video with them, not a lot of fuss, and then publish that right away and have everybody meet this person before they leave on their very first day," Lawson explained. "Another use case is down in the server room. I work for IT and we have racks and racks of servers, and identifying those servers with somebody upstairs or at another location who’s working the firewall, who’s trying to figure out what’s going on, you can have sort of a man-on-the-street as it were."
Working with Google Glass will certainly take some adjusting. Lawson offered a few tips based on his experience so far.
"You can’t record a ten minute video on Google Glass. Although it would work, it would probably kill the small battery that you have," Lawson explained. "The other thing is you want to be ready. It’s all in one take, so you have to go and think about what you’re going to do. As soon as you turn it on, you have to give a title and extend the video and talk and then close it up. It’s like being a newscaster or a broadcaster."
To hear more about using Google Glass in the enterprise, watch the full video below.
Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen: Hi, I’m here at Streaming Media West in Huntington Beach, California with Scott Lawson who is the director of IT Architecture for QAD. And as you probably guessed by what you see on his face, he’s kind of into Google Glass and that’s what we’re going to be talking about today. But before we do that, Scott tell us a little bit about what you do at QAD, what QAD does and what you’ve done there in terms of enterprise video.
Scott Lawson: Sure QAD is an enterprise resource planning software company and supply chain software company. We’ve been in business about 35 years. So we make manufacturing software for manufacturers all around the globe from consumer products like Avon to food and beverage like Foster’s Lager to people who make shifters for Ford cars. And for about 10 years we’ve been doing streaming video and trying to enable the everyday work, the everyday person to be able to make a video and make it as easily as they can right in email. Basically just communicate via video about a lot of the barriers that are normally in the way.
Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen: Now Google Glass right now is still kind of in that gimmick phase for a lot of people. I mean, it’s not even out of beta yet. Very few people relative to the population actually have even gotten their hands on it much less own one. But obviously you feel it’s more than just a gimmick if you’re at a show like Streaming Media West talking about how to produce video with Google Glass. So how can it be used in an enterprise video environment like the one you described?
Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen: Right. Good question. Well, to pick up on the theme of reducing the barriers, you know if a common employee wanted to go down to the server room or go into a factory floor and document a process or maybe interview an employee or something, they would have to get a camera, which is fairly expensive and bulky. They would have to learn how to use it and then they would have to have power packs and so forth. And once they filmed them they would have to take that video, talk to somebody to upload it and make it right and put it on the server. With Google Glass, it’s just an alternate input device. And what I showed at the talk today at the show was to use common off-the-shelf open source tools to take that video and upload it directly to a video server that you might have in the corporate world and automatically. So the user just has to walk into somewhere, do the natural, don’t have to learn how to move a camera. It moves on your head. And speak a few commands and be able to publish their video and have it up there in an hour or so.
Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen: Okay are there some actual use cases that you’ve already seen happening or that you’ve already been a part of?
Scott Lawson: Sure. We’ve been trying a few use cases. And of course, at QAD I’m the only one with glass. And so I’ve gone around and I’ve tried some employee interviews. So a new employee comes on. We want to introduce him to the whole team. QAD is a global company, most people are not at the corporate office. So we can make a quick interview video with them, not a lot of fuss, and then publish that right away and have everybody meet this person before they leave on their very first day. Another use case is down in the server room. I work for IT and we have racks and racks of servers and identifying those servers with somebody upstairs or at another location who’s working the firewall, who’s trying to figure out what’s going on, you can have sort of a man-on-the-street as it were. Somebody down there looking at the racks and talking with somebody and communicating that way. And then that information, that thing that they saw can be then instantly sent up to the server and archived for future use. So those are a couple of the use cases that we’ve tried and we’re just getting started.
Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen: Right, right. What are some of the tips and tricks or best practices that you could share from what you’ve learned from working with Google Glass so far?
Scott Lawson: Sure. Google Glass is not like traditional video. It’s point of view video and it’s very really, close and short. You can’t record a 10 minute video on Google Glass. Although it would work, it would probably kill the small battery that you have. And you don’t do it two shot or any kind of these terms in videos. You basically see what you see. It sees what you see. The other thing is you want to be ready. It’s all in one take. So you have to go and think about what you’re going to do and as soon as you turn it on, you have to give a title and extend the video and talk and then close it up. So it’s like being a newscaster or a broadcaster, but people today are very forgiving when it comes to online very quick little instructional videos. So it doesn’t really have to be professional quality.
Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen: Right, right. Just from a personal standpoint, you’re obviously a tech guy, so you might be the wrong person to ask about this, but I think people are afraid of Google Glass a little bit because they think it’s going to feel weird. It’s going to feel just so strange to have this on your head. What was your experience the first time you used it? Did it take a while to get used to or was it fairly natural?
Scott Lawson: It’s pretty natural. It’s very light. It weighs about a third of the lightest SmartPhone and it does.. You can see it in your corner. But as you can see by my eye, the screen is right above my eye, so it’s not in line with my eyeball, so I can see everything perfectly. I can see you. And after about a half an hour, it kind of disappears from your view much like a heads up display in a car. Or maybe when you get a new pair of glasses, you can kind of see the rim and then a day later you can’t see the rim anymore. So it’s pretty natural, but I think there are improvements. Coming soon they’re going to put in ear buds, so that you can hear better. Because in a room like this with a lot of excitement and people talking, it’s very hard to hear, let’s say, if I had a phone call. So I think it has a ways to go, but I think it will be adopted by the greater public just like smartphones were adopted.
Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen: Sure. Last question is the other concern I think people had with Google Glass revolves around privacy and security concerns. The fact that they might not necessarily know when they’re being filmed or at least be worried about that. And then of course as with any bring your own device situation in the enterprise environment there are other security concerns as well. Speak about that for just a little bit and what sort of issues are you seeing and how those hurdles going to get over?
Scott Lawson: Sure, sure. Well, I think for the first part of that question, it’s best to show you. So if I just look in the camera here and I decide to take a 10 second video, I’ll say record video. And you will see, they will see that my screen lights up. It’s very obvious that I’m recording a video and by default it only takes a 10 second video. And so it’s done. Now when it’s done, for me to send it to some place I have to talk to it. I have to say, hey go send that somewhere. So it’s really not a stealth device at all. Now in the second concern about security, there’s always a concern and legitimate concern about consumer devices that come into the enterprise. Well, what are they going to do to the enterprise? Well, we shouldn’t forget that the PC, the personal computer, was a consumer device before it came into the enterprise. And people have wrapped security around that. Thumb drives, all kinds of cell phones are also in the enterprise and are able to be used in a bad way in the enterprise. So I think the same is true with Google Glass is that yes it can intake video, but it’s not really stealthy. It can send things out, but it’s not really super easy to do without people knowledge. I think those kinds of things can be solved by rules and processes and just every day common sense.
Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen: Right, great. Well thanks again, Scott. I’ve been speaking with Scott Lawson from QAD who gave a presentation here at Streaming Media West about Google Glass. And obviously that’s something that we’ll be hearing much more about in the months to come. Thanks again, Scott.
Scott Lawson: Thank you.
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