Solar Power Firm Shows Google Glass May Not Be So Douchey After All

Plans to equip its entire service tech team with the device

Headshot of Christopher Heine

Sullivan Solar Power's field technicians are currently taking turns using its Google Glass device to administer service calls around Southern California. And it is in their interest to absorb the wearable device's capabilities—because next year it will be at the center of their gig. 

"All of our field technicians will be using Google Glass," Mike Chagala, director of information technology for Sullivan, told Adweek. "They are embracing the technology. There is not actually a big learning curve. We made a concerted effort to create our app so it's intuitive."

Indeed, the San Diego-based company has created a proprietary Google Glass app that lets service technicians collaborate with colleagues back at the office while troubleshooting problems with solar systems at clients' homes/businesses. The correspondence is realized via the headset's video and microphone technology, allowing workers at different locations to see any single issue at hand via a desktop, smartphone or tablet. 

"It allows us to tap our collective intelligence, whether our experts are in our headquarters or at another location," Chagala explained. "It brings together their eyes and ears while problem solving the issue. And the technicians are able to keep their hands free at the same time."

Entertainment and media players highly anticipate the release of Google Glass, which is expected to hit the market in 2014. Many others, however, think the whole idea of someone walking around with a computer strapped to their head is inane.

But given the Sullivan Solar example, haters—who have written off the emerging device as only being for "Glassholes"—might want to rethink their position. Someday soon they may be thankful that their utilities' technician or plumber is armed with a pair of Glass.

"What we are doing goes beyond the street culture of Glass," Sullivan's IT lead added. "But I doubt you are going to see our employees wearing them out to dinner or at the bar."

Google Glass is expected to cost at least a few hundred dollars apiece. Sullivan Solar is not worried about making money by buying a few dozen for its service team.

"We are already realizing [a healthy ROI], and we are only scratching the surface," Chagala said. "We could sit down in another brainstorm session and quickly come up with 10 more brilliant ideas for our business."

Meanwhile, check out Sullivan Solar Power's video that showcases how it plans to leverage the device. 

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.
Publish date: December 16, 2013 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT