Google Glass Is Appearing in Some Places You Would Never Expect

Even the energy sector is finding a way to use Google Glass.

Apr 13, 2014 at 1:30PM

Google Glass

Google Glass. Photo credit: Flickr/lawrencegs.

Wearable technology has the potential to be a game-changer -- though not everyone is convinced. Some worry about the loss of privacy or the distractions that could come from widespread usage of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Glass, while others suggest that its just a fad.

That mindset, however, can lead to missing out on that fact that some of the best usages of this wearable computing technology could be in field applications like in a hospital setting or on an oil drilling site. In fact, we're seeing oilfield service giant Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB), for example, take the first steps to use cutting-edge technology like Google Glass to provide wearable intelligence to its employees in the field.

Oilfield intelligence
Schlumberger is using a modified version of Google Glass by a company called Wearable Intelligence, which strips down the product for specific uses. In the case of Schlumberger's test, its employees aren't tweeting photos or surfing the net but using Glass to complete complex checklists. The company is using 30 of the units out on the field to provide real-time intelligence so employees can do their jobs both more efficiently and safer.

Wearable Intelligence has created a really great video that shows how the technology is being applied in the oilfield.

Moving beyond glass
Wearable technology is set to become a $10 billion industry by 2016, according to one research firm. It's future could be much brighter than that if it gains widespread adoption in places like the energy industry, which is such a service intensive industry where both speed and accuracy matter. Wearable tech can help a company like Schlumberger in both regards, as it can provide its employees with real-time data, but at the same time that data isn't interfering with their hands enabling them to quickly turn this data into action.

Not only that but oilfield service workers need to be safe. Detecting danger before it is too late will enable the industry to improve its safety record. Just as an example, there is a silicone wristband being tested that can give its wearers information about the chemicals they are currently being exposed to by the environment. It can detect more than 1,000 chemicals found in the environment such as the chemicals in fragrances and cosmetics, which could potentially help a person avoid allergens.


Schlumberger in the field. Photo credit: Flickr/Nestor Galina 

However, some day we can move beyond just tracking environmental irritants. A wearable technology could one day be developed to help oil-field service workers detect dangerous chemicals, gases, or pollutants in the air. For example, one day an oilfield service worker could be alerted via a wearable device that methane or another harmful chemical is leaking in the area, which could put an end to a problem before it gets out of hand.

Investor takeaway
Wearable technology has vast potential to improve our world. One of the places it could make a big impact is in the energy industry, which is service intensive where both speed and safety are a primary concern. Because of this, wearable computing from companies like Google could help the industry do its job better, faster, and safer. 

The biggest thing to come out of Silicon Valley in years
If you thought the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad were amazing, just wait until you see this. One hundred of Apple's top engineers are busy building one in a secret lab. And an ABI Research report predicts 485 million of them could be sold over the next decade. But you can invest in it right now, for just a fraction of the price of Apple stock. Click here to get the full story in this eye-opening new report.

Matt DiLallo has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Apple and Google (A and C shares). Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information