Utility broadband is an important topic in the industry, and questions surrounding the rollout and adoption, among other aspects of the technology, are at the forefront of many minds in the utility industry. Maybe none more so than the Boards of Directors at utility cooperatives across the country.
Daily, new devices roll out of the “gizmosphere,” hyped with promises big and small. More often than not, they elicit a “seen-that-done-that,” or “Are they crazy,” reaction. That’s how I felt about Google Glass, the spectacles that promise a usable and wearable network connection. I ho-hummed the latest Google thing until I watched the Google video and read that the big daddy of Internet newspaper sites, The New York Times, has release a headline app for the device. While most of us will let the hipsters and the tech crowd pay up to $1500 per pair when they hit the market in 2014, the Google Glass functionality should not be overlooked. Unlike recent Google product splashes, like the now deceased Wave, this is a concept we can all quickly understand. By placing a smart, Bluetooth/wi-fi data transceiver and battery into the temple of the glasses, and a small 640 x 360 display on the upper corner of the glasses frame, Google is launching a new form factor for internet and connected access. Google Glass is voice and temple-touch controlled. It takes pictures, videos, will send and receive images and short messages. The first announced Glass app, The New York Times headlines, will deliver headlines. If Glass catches on, it will deliver most of the content and services you now get over a smart phone. And if you’re not a big Google fan, other tech companies have announced their intention of competing with “Google Glass” in this new hardware area. Your space-on-the-face may be the next are of high tech competition. As I watched the video, it struck me that this is a product that would find a home in the rural utility and rural telecom work. It [...]