While Google Glass may have had its early pitfalls in the consumer market, smart glasses have found new life in industry. Workers assembling wind turbines at a GE Renewable Energy factory in Pensacola, Florida, for example, wear smart glasses powered by Upskill, a GE Ventures-backed company that produces enterprise software for wearables.

Before the team started using the devices, technicians often had to stop what they were doing, check manuals or contact an expert to make sure they were installing parts correctly. But with the smart glasses running on Upskill’s Skylight platform, workers can easily pull up digitized directions and study them in their line of sight. The technicians can also access training videos or use voice commands to contact experts for immediate assistance. They can even stream their point of view through a live video connection and show the expert what they are seeing. The expert can then walk the technician through troubleshooting.

An initial study yielded a 36 percent improvement in productivity the very first time the technician used the wearables, versus operating the standard way. “We’ve seen empirically across GE that we can make a heck of a dent in the skills gap by giving workers information on demand to do their jobs more powerfully,” said Brian Ballard, CEO and co-founder of Upskill.

Read more at GE Reports

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